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Grieving After a Community Tragedy

Grieving After a Community Tragedy

Dear friends and community partners,

We are truly saddened by the tragic events that took place on Monday afternoon in Olde Town Arvada. While we have grieved the tragedies that have occurred nearby over the past few months, this one hits especially close to home. Arvada is where we live. Where we work. Where we find our sense of community and belonging. 

We are devastated by the loss of two heroes who gave their lives to protect others. We are holding the families and loved ones of Mr. John Hurley and Officer Beesley, and Officer Beesley’s fellow Officers in our hearts. We are eternally grateful to the Arvada Police Department for their service to this community day in and day out. The Arvada Heals page at Community First Foundation offers ways to contribute to the victims’ fund and community response resources.

As we process and mourn the loss of life that has occurred, this grief might feel heavier than usual. Unfortunately, we live in a world where gun violence has become an almost commonplace staple of our very existence. It is harder to face this reality when it happens in your own backyard. 

Whether you’ve shopped or dined in Olde Town, take your children to the library or school, or even work in the area, it might be difficult for you to make sense of this event and feel safe in a place that once brought you comfort and joy. After an event like this, it is normal to feel anxious about your own safety, to picture the event in your own mind, and to wonder how you would react in an emergency. 

As the days go by, you might experience feelings of grief, anger, sadness, numbness, or helplessness. You may find that you have trouble sleeping, concentrating, eating, or remembering even simple tasks. It’s important to recognize that these are all normal reactions in times of trauma and the way you process grief is valid. Take care of yourself, recognize what it is that you need, reach out to friends and family for support when you need to, and squeeze those you love tightly.

It is also important to remember that the grief process is not a linear process. Trauma such as shooting can take a toll on the community and its members for weeks and months to come. Be patient with yourself as well as others when it comes to healing in the wake of a tragedy. Now is the time to come together and lean on one another as we take the first steps forward after this communal loss. 

Please explore our list of resources below and share them with your network in the hopes that someone else might find the resources helpful during this time of need. 

With respect,

Dr. Kiara Kuenzler, CEO, Jefferson Center

We’re Here For You

Jefferson Center’s doors are open for anyone in need of support. Whether you are experiencing a crisis, are seeking professional help, or if you just want someone to talk to, please reach out.

Call us at 720-791-2735 or visit our walk-in crisis center located at 4643 Wadsworth Blvd, Wheat Ridge, CO 80033.

In response to the need for community support, Jefferson Center is available and supporting area businesses and organizations, and in collaboration with community partners, providing walk-in support at the Arvada Emergency Assistance Center. 

Walk-In Support at Arvada Family Assistance Center

June 24 and 25

Shrine of Saint Anne School

7320 Grant Place, Arvada

Hours: 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

June 26

Apex Field House

5724 Oak Street, Arvada

Hours: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.


Arvada Resources

General Disaster Response and Recovery Information

Violence and Trauma-Specific Information 

Resources for Children, Youth, Parents and Other Caregivers, and Schools 

Resources for Disaster Responders

Contact Us

Reach out and connect with Jefferson Center today. 

    Getting Started
    Jefferson Center provides client-centered services designed to meet your individual mental health, substance use, and wellness needs. We’re dedicated to meeting you where you are in your journey and working together to help you live a satisfying and hopeful life.

    Emergency & Crisis Services
    • Hotline
    • Walk-in crisis centers
    • Mobile crisis services throughout the state