- Unexpected--The surprise elements stun and shock. We feel dazed and disoriented.
- Uncontrollable--The event is beyond our abilities to change it. We feel powerless and vulnerable.
- Unimaginable--The horrific elements are not familiar to our way of life. Our frame of reference does not include what we are witnessing. We feel appalled and horrified.
- Unreal--The event is too strange to process. We see but do not comprehend what we are seeing. We feel confused and disoriented.
- Unfair--We feel like victims who have done nothing to deserve this tragedy. We feel hurt, puzzled, angry or fearful.
- Unforgivable--We need to blame someone or something. What do we do with our anger, rage and urge to punish? We feel powerless.
- Unprecedented--Nothing like this has happened before. We don't have a script to follow. We feel directionless.
- Unprepared--We haven't perceived a reason to ready ourselves for an unimaginable catastrophe. Our defense mechanisms may be inadequate to handle the demand. We feel overwhelmed.
- Uncertainty--We don't fully know the long-range effect on ourselves, our families, our jobs, our future and the future of our offspring. We feel ambivalent and torn between hope and fear.
Picture, thanks to Barbara Kerrer, Grieving Mothers