If there's national news taking place near you, call home.
Um... yeah. Eldest is safe. She was not at the marathon, she was not in the building where the security officer was shot, she is apparently not too distraught. I believe the colleges are all still on lockdown, and the wildest activity seems to have moved to different parts of town.
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In its own way it's easier to be close to a disaster than far away. After 9/11 the people of New York had the advantage of a) knowing just how bad things really were (which is far better than imagining), and b) hearing all the survivor stories. Walking down the street made one infinitely grateful to be alive. Seeing neighbors I barely knew gave me joy. For weeks what we heard about were the close shaves, the common experiences of survival. It was a lot of humanity; from a distance and in the news you don't hear about the many, many gestures of goodwill that follow in the wake of tragedy.
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Two FREE stress-reduction resources we've discovered, which may be helpful to someone, somewhere:
PTSD Coach is an app with a variety of tools for soothing anxiety. Worth having if you're prone to stress or panic; don't get scared off by the name.
Free guided meditation and relaxation MP3 recordings from NYU help bring down the adrenaline and refocus thoughts away from the negative.