THE BLOG

A Shared Trauma: The Death of Pan Am

11/16/2012 04:42 pm ET | Updated Jan 16, 2013

In September, I was honored to be the keynote speaker for the 43rd Annual Convention of World Wings International, the philanthropic organization of former Pan Am flight attendants, in Portland, Ore. Despite my initial nervousness (see my earlier blog, "Confessions of a Psychoanalyst: Performance Anxiety and the Dread of Shame"), the 400 attendees welcomed me so warmly and graciously that I soon felt right at home.

As I often do in my blogs, I used my own personal story (see my earlier blog, "Counting My People") to address several key issues about trauma that I often write about to help former Pan Am employees with their feelings about the death of the company that they loved so much. I must admit, I was gratified by how intently the audience listened to my message: Nobody in the audience even coughed!

And following the devastation left in the path of Hurricane Sandy, I invite those who are suffering from this massive collective trauma to view this speech. I hope that the concepts of re-traumatization and the importance of being able to share your emotional reactions with others will bring you insight into your reactions.

To watch my keynote address on YouTube, click on the following link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pOGxZnoFCVA

For more by Helen Davey, click here.

For more on emotional wellness, click here.