Country singer Jason Aldean had just taken the stage at the Route 91 Harvest Festival in Las Vegas on Sunday night when a gunman opened fire on the crowd, killing 59 and injuring more than 527. Aldean, along with his band and crew, immediately ran for cover, but later let fans know via Instagram that they were safe. On Monday, the singer returned to social media to open up about the experience, and to share an emotional plea for love and unity.

“Over the last 24 hours I have gone through lots of emotions,” Aldean wrote, listing the all-too relatable fear, anger, heartache, and compassion he’s felt. “I truly don’t understand why a person would want to take the life of another. Something has changed in this country and in this world lately that is scary to see. This world is becoming the kind of place I am afraid to raise my children in.” (The country star has two daughters from his previous marriage and is expecting a son with wife Brittany.)

“At the end of the day we aren’t Democrats or Republicans, Whites or Blacks, Men or Women. We are all humans and we are all Americans and it’s time to start acting like it and stand together as ONE! That is the only way we will ever get this country to be better than it has ever been, but we have a long way to go and we have to start now.”

“I am so sorry for the hurt and pain everyone is feeling right now and there are no words I can say to to take that pain away,” Aldean wrote, concluding his message with hope. “Just know u all are in my heart and my prayers as we all go through this together. Time to come together and stop the hate!”

Aldean is one of many public figures reaching out to share their grief and pay tribute to the lives lost in the senseless shooting.

Events like this are difficult to see in the news day in and out, and while it’s important to speak out and help the victims and their families if you can, it’s also important to recognize that the news cycle can become overwhelming and take a toll on some people’s mental health. You need to take care of yourself in order to take care of others.

How do you cope with grief? Let us know @BritandCo.

(Photo via Frazer Harrison/Getty)