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A survivor’s road to healing

Posted at 6:14 PM, May 19, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-19 18:14:01-04

Fragrance Harris Standfield is an employee at TOPS and she was working at the time of the shooting.

Let’s talk about has the community surrounded you. Fragrance says, “I do see a lot of our regulars and I am hugging everybody, soaking up as much love as I can, it keeps me smiling. I love seeing so my co-workers, we’ve all gotten to see each other, starting Monday we have seen each other every day.”

She says, “I think the name Danielle was talking about today about, but not on camera at all, is that the survivors are not really being addressed. Yes, people are interviewing me, asking what happened and walking through the event over and over, but we re not being addressed. The trauma that we are experience right now; we feel horrible about the lives that were lost and the family members that were left behind, but we are also mourning, you know we were right there, and we almost lost our lives and that feeling is just imaginable and it still is like, I’m sitting here and like I said the reason it s harder today is because it is starting to become more real, recalling things you saw. I think that part is kind of missing and everything. The community has been great, they’ve been great, you know with food and stuff like that, but this isn’t about food right now, this isn’t about toiletries, we are just trying t get through the day, you know what I mean.”

When asked what can we do to help lift you up, Fragrance says “I think it’s just an understanding. I know it’s hard to say understanding but just kind of give us space to feel like we feel, however it is, know that we are dealing with this. I’m grateful for my other job with the Buffalo Public Schools. They have been great. I went to work yesterday just to hug my co-workers and they were great. I’m really thankful for my principals, my assistant principals. They reached out to me. I didn’t know because my phone was in the store but when I finally got it, I got to see everyone who reached out t me, to check on me and that helps, you know what I mean, just knowing that somebody cares for real, and they are not just looking to take a picture with you or say that they know you. So, we just need that compassion and that space to just heal. It is going to take a while, it really is. I though I was doing so much better.”

How is your family doing? Fragrance says they are actually doing okay and says she tries to sit with each one of them at some point and just ask how are they really doing. She goes on to say “they are strong like me, it’s amazing. I thank God I have older children who can help with the younger ones. My adult and quasi adult children have really stepped in and have been fantastic. They sometimes hug me a little tighter and other times like okay they are back to their regular teenage self for a second and then they realize this something we just went through.”