Place of Religion in the Healing Process


Nina Andrews

The Carter Center located next to Forrer Learning Commons is often used for worship and music ceremonies and concerts.

Nina Andrews, Assistant Web Editor

Bridgewater, Va. – After the traumatic events of a school shooting leading to the loss of Officer J.J. Jefferson and Officer John Painter, students, staff and the Bridgewater community seek ways to cope. For some students, religion has played a part in the healing process. 

“I turned to things like meditation and contemplation. For me, to process the events, I did a lot of self reflection and reflection about the community. It helped me cope with the stress and trauma,” said junior Shifa Tewari. 

Tewari explained she is very spiritual, but not necessarily religious – believing in a divine presence bigger than herself. 

“February 1 made me realize how much I need to stop focusing on this world all the time,” said senior Jillian Wall who identifies as Agnostic-Christian. It upset her to think of the way things could have ended, reflecting that she “wasn’t the best version” of herself and has more she wants to do. 

Churches in the area set up events like vigils and meetings in and out of the church building to help students cope in their own religious ways. 

Although some have different coping strategies and religions to turn to, others may not. 

“Feb. 1 was difficult for me to wrap my head around. That may be because I don’t have a religion to rely on,” said sophomore Logan Mae Lotts. “I like to believe that everything happens for a reason, but in this case I cannot see the reason.”