In the wake of the current situation that has engulfed Pakistan, The Grief Directory (a platform that connects families of victims of terrorism to those who want to help) has chalked out some useful tips for the masses. Everyone must go through it if an unfortunate loss has happened to a friend or a contact in some incident especially in a terrorism related attack:

1. While it is important to visit the family, it is useful to remember that this is a time of extreme pain for the family. Therefore, it may be helpful to visit the family in a few days when things have calmed down a little. It helps in reducing the confusion and the security issues and lessens the burden on the family which is going through such a traumatic time. Sadly, it is time to say good-bye to a loved one and that too in such a sudden and shocking way, so having fewer people around allows the family the space and the privacy to do so properly.

2. It is also a support to the close family and friends who are trying to look after the personal needs of the guests regarding their seating, food and sleeping arrangements and at times become overwhelmed.

3. If you are a neighbor or know the family, consider offering practical support like meals, babysitting, putting up overnight guests or providing bedding etc.

4. If you must go to pay your last respects, please consider your words. Talking about the tragedy or the incident may not be very comforting for a family to hear. Neither is it helpful to offer explanations or reassurances. Silent support is sometimes better than insensitive words.

5. When you go for a visit and some family members are unable to meet you, please understand. The wife/mother may be busy looking after the small kids who can’t understand the sudden chaos and are thus confused and irritable, talking to the older children who need to be consoled for the loss or she may be taking a nap due to sheer exhaustion. We must not forget that we are there to share their loss and ease their pain a tiny bit and we can do it by understanding.

6. A post-mortem is usually conducted after such a death. Please do not ask questions about the condition of the body, the types of injuries or give advice about the time of burial. Because this type of death is different from a natural or accidental one, there are police and legal considerations. Let the family deal with it without unsolicited advice.

7. Please refrain from asking the family about what happened that day or that morning. It is painful beyond words and heart breaking.

8. If going for a visit after a few weeks, call and set up a time. Sometimes unexpected visits cause a bit of a problem to the family as they are struggling to set up a new routine.

9. Grief is as personal as fingerprints. We should assist the grieving family in creating their own ways of grieving and support and respect their decisions.

Along with these points, TGD has also written down points for school drills and training sessions which need to be disseminated in institutions so safety of students can be ensured to the greatest extent.

Pakistan is fighting a war against terrorism but it’s not only the duty of the leaders and institutions, citizens too have a major role to play.

In the past two weeks Pakistan has seen a number of blasts. The recent one was in Z block DHA Lahore but according to Minister of Law it was caused by a gas cylinder explosion. Around 10 people were killed and 35 injured. Just after the DHA explosion there were rumors of a blast in Gulberg area of Lahore which spread panic amongst the masses. Parents were frantically calling schools to know the wellbeing of their children. For about an hour everyone was in a frenzy know about the safety of their loved ones. Later it was cleared by the rescue teams that nothing had happened in Gulberg.