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Grief and trauma still felt a year after George Floyd's murder

The death of George Floyd is still having effects, 12 months after he was killed on camera.

On Tuesday, we mark one year since the murder of George Floyd.

It’s a moment that changed communities across the country and around the world.

People saw his death from a bystander’s cell phone video, watched his final minutes, and heard his final words, "I can’t breathe."

Those very visible moments generated grief and trauma in so many people, especially Black Americans, who saw a white officer taking the life of a Black man.

Sierra Hillsman, a licensed trauma therapist in Atlanta, Georgia, tells us more about the emotions and pain many felt that day and may still feel even a year later.

“When it comes to processing grief, understand that grief does not have a specific timeline, so don’t feel pressured to have to hurry up and get over something," Hillsman said.

Hillsman describes the importance of social support, both emotional and instrumental.

Emotional support can be holding space, providing a listening ear or even giving a hug. Then we have instrumental support which can be, helping someone with their groceries because they are struggling to get out of bed, or helping to watch the kids.

She adds, we may still find that we feel helplessness, alongside a motivation to do something, and create change.

“I like to remind people that even though were all experiencing the same thing we’re all experiencing it from a different lens and a different perspective. Having the opportunity to step back and check in with ourselves and ask how this is impacting me in this very moment, what does this teach me about myself in relation to the country that I live in and again trying identify what can I do and what’s in my power?”

If you have feelings you’d like to talk to someone professional about, Hillsman says there are websites and resources to help you find someone who may also have a better understanding of your cultural background.

Here are just some of the directories we found to help you in your search:

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