Hamilton community copes with grief after Friday night shooting

HAMILTON, Miss. (WCBI) – Hamilton is a small community dealing with a ton of emotion and grief.

Last Friday, WCBI reported on the two lives lost during a shooting incident.

We talked with two Monroe County professionals who are all too familiar with tragedy and death.

The scene Friday night in Hamilton after two women were found dead from gunshot wounds reminded Monroe County Coroner Alan Gurley of 2011, the year he lost his daughter.

“Most of my time at a scene like that is spent with families because I lost my daughter almost 12 years ago in a car wreck right here in Hamilton. I was the second one there that day and I know that is something that sticks with you does to help you in a time like that,” said Gurley.

Working in the field for almost 31 years, he said the most important thing he can do is console family and friends facing the traumatic realization that a loved one is gone.

“That first contact they make with people is so important. I think and pray so hard that I can always handle that moment right. I don’t always handle it right. I leave there and think could I have done more? I wish I could have done more but sometimes you can say too much and you have to make sure they are taken care of,” said Gurley.

Veronica Harrison is a licensed professional counselor and to many in Hamilton, she is a person to lean on when young lives are taken.

“It’s really difficult when the loss is young because the laws of nature say parents don’t expect to bury their children. We expect to see you get older, get married, have children, and do things on your own so it’s really difficult when it is a young person because we feel that loss of what might have been,” said Harrison.

Harrison understands that many people begin to self-blame and question themselves during the grieving process.

“A lot of times there are no signs. Sometimes things happen or people are going through things and they just do a really good job of covering up what they are dealing with. So, it’s important that people do not feel responsible and that they recognize that sometimes things happen well outside of our control,” Harrison.

Both Gurley and Harrison said grief is different for everyone but a good coping mechanism is to talk about how you are feeling.

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