How can survivors and relatives prepare for this evening?
Usually, when we prepare people for collective rituals, we, as professionals, have an idea of how this will happen. We have the timing of the authorities, we know the course of the ceremony. There we had no return. We do not know if there will be a time of exchange, we do not know if there will be a translator. Apart from describing the room, we have few supports to work on.
Everyone has more or less the idea of being near emergency exits, which may be complicated. So it's about giving them strategies to manage anxiety, learn to breathe calmly. This is extreme stress management. Knowing that many survivors live this daily and have already developed their own strategies. They will have to use the same tools they have been using for three months now. The added difficulty is that they do not know what it can do for a group. And the big risk is contamination.
What would have been your recommendations for this concert?
Propose this concert a year after the events would have been more relevant. In traumatology, we know that this time, spent nine months, one year, is not trivial in the individual dynamics of the subjects. Nine months is the time of a gestation, a year is the first birthday.
It would have been better to organize an event in the unit, which is a post-traumatic link factor for the survivors. They could have consulted or discussed the choice of the place (some might have wished that it happen at the Bataclan when it reopens for example). Imagine a co-constructed evening, where those who could not come, whatever the reason, could have sent a photo, a testimonial to hang somewhere in the room, a way to be there otherwise.
We could have thought that the evening, or part of the evening, was dedicated to those who were there and their loved ones. Because they probably have things to say to each other and to share. It would have been much more restorative and restructuring.
What to say to those who still hesitate to go there?
The question should not be "are we going, or are we not going?" "But where do I go, or do not I go? ". To cash in on the comments of others, who do not think like us, you have to be strong enough. And many are not yet, because it's still too early. In a couple, a group of friends, the most fragile, those who feel the least ready to go there, will also be the most sensitive to the insistence of their loved ones.To want to go there to please, by feeling of obligation.
What is really important is that the people who are supposed to go to this concert hear that it is not because this collective ritual is proposed that they are obliged to attend. It is quite possible to invent one's own rituals. The standardization of mourning is nonsense, because mourning is something personal, singular. He may participate in a collective matrix, but this is not mandatory.