Parkland community continues to grieve, seek healing, especially after recent suicides

Posted at 7:15 PM, Mar 25, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-25 19:15:40-04

PARKLAND, Fla. — A new resource is available in Parkland and Coral Springs, where the community is still grappling with the deaths of 17 people during the shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School and now shocked over the suicides of two student survivors.

“The first year a lot of people are numb and they’re functioning, but they haven’t quite realized the extent of the damage and the harm, which I wanted to share with everybody is so normal," said Julie Gordon, director of Eagles' Haven. "It would be very hard not to have experienced this and have it change you and to need help and support.”

A community wellness center called Eagles' Haven opened up a month earlier than scheduled off Coral Ridge Drive.

People will find services for free there, ranging from support groups and guidance sessions for parents to yoga, meditation and game nights.

"Statistics show that each year, more symptoms can come up," Gordon said.

While Eagles' Haven is not a therapy center, staff will connect people with services or just offer a comfortable, welcoming place for the community to come together.

“Our goal is the have the community all work together," Gordon said.

Nature's Plants, based in Parkland, donated plants to add comfort to the healing spaces within Eagles' Haven.

"Plants are a great thing to help relax your mind," said David Katz, owner of Nature's Plants. "Plants are a great sense of calmness, welcoming. It gives off a warm vibe."

Eagles’ Haven is open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays in the shopping center south of the Sawgrass Expressway and east of Coral Ridge Drive.

People are also going to the Temple of Time off Sample Road in Coral Springs to seek healing and reflect on their emotions and grief.

"It’s an opportunity for us to come here and respect the feelings and think about it," said Vanessa Xavier, who brought her three daughters and her niece to leave messages on the Temple of Time Monday. "And just to give some love and our prayers."