We’ve all been a tangle of emotions,” said Boston Marathon runner Meghan Goughan following a moment of silence exactly one week after the bombings. Goughan was one of dozens Marathon runners and volunteers who gathered near the scene at Boylston and Berkeley at that hour to honor those affected by the events a week earlier.
They were joined not only by hundreds of other community members, but by Red Cross Disaster Mental Health workers as well. Those volunteers made contact with several people in the crowd outside the makeshift memorial near the Marathon finish line, offering emotional support.
“I think for the runners, being here is part of their healing, their strength, being supportive of each other, being in solidarity,” said Disaster Mental Health volunteer Sharon Friedman. “Everybody knows exactly where they were, for the runners whatever point they were in the race. It’s something that’s going to be indelible for them.”
“I think people feel bad that they’re sad when they know worse things happened to other people,” Goughan says. “They feel guilty. ‘Why am I upset? I didn’t have anyone get hurt.’ It’s helping people work through that.”
Disaster Mental Health volunteers such as Mansfield, MA resident Friedman have been providing support at various vigils and memorials since the attacks, and have been in the community to help the City cope with these traumatic events.
“There have been a few people who have been more affected by this event, so just having a chance to have one of those five minute chats has been helpful,” Friedman said. “But there’s a lot of strength here, too. People are saying, ‘This is Boston. We know how to do this.’”