Attack Aftermath: Coping With Grief

By Lois Baker

Release Date: September 12, 2001 This content is archived.


Following Tuesday's terrorist attack on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, people across the United States "will be looking at everything in their lives through a screen of apprehension," says Thomas T. Frantz, Ph.D., associate professor of counseling and educational psychology at the University at Buffalo.

"That apprehension may fade in a couple days, or it may last a week" or longer.

"We all have a whole variety of problems we're dealing with already, so this grief and sadness will make those problems feel worse," says Frantz. "If you're not getting along with your wife, it will feel worse. If you are worried about a sick child, you will feel more concerned."

Frantz, associate dean in UB's Graduate School of Education and chair of the Department of Counseling and Educational Psychology, has spent 25 years researching and practicing in the areas of grief, bereavement, mourning, death, dying, suicide, life after death, stress, counseling and related issues.

Frantz said that for families and friends of victims of the attack, the grief of losing a loved one will be similar to the grief surrounding any sudden death: "Shock, numbness, which usually gives way to depression are universal responses, but everyone does it differently. Some people may be angry first, and for others, anger catches up with them later," he notes.