AUSTIN (KXAN) - In the wake of the deadly shootings in Connecticutand others, the healing process can take a long time.
Candlelight vigils and memorials are now taking place across the country. For chaplains and pastors their work is just beginning, helping thousands to heal.
Saul Skaff, is a chaplain at the Hill Country Bible Church in Round Rock. He says after a tragedy like yesterday, the first step towards healing is grieving.
Thousands of people are now turning towards their faith to help them understand why something like this would happen. At Sunday church services pastors say their messages will focus on hope to help people get through these tough times.
"When a person can begin to find purpose and meaning beyond their pain that's when you can really begin to heal," said Skaff. "Often its through great tragedy like this that people find a whole new purpose and meaning in their life."
Pastors around the country are now gearing up for their Sunday sermons; Skaff says the message is clear.
"The message will be of hope, and that this isn't the end," said Skaff.
As new details emerge telling the horrors of exactly what happened inside Sandy Hook Elementary
first responders on the scene are also left to process this tragedy.
"Many officers feel like if I were only there that i could've stopped this," said Ricky Poe, a police chaplain.
He knows first hand the emotions many officers go through after witnessing such a gruesome scene. He said those feelings are only worsened when it involves children.
"It's very hard on officers when kids are involved," said Poe. "They think of their own kids and the people they work with that have children and it really bothers them."
These chaplains both say the first step to recovery is grieving -- a process they say can ultimately bring everyone together.
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