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There’s no question that the country music community has shared more tears than smiles since the terrifying and heartbreaking massacre in Las Vegas that claimed the lives of 59 country music fans and injured more than 500 others. Feelings of sorrow have been overwhelming, even to country stars like Dierks Bentley.

But on Oct. 4, the big-hearted country star found that warm smile again in a way that may have left others wincing in pain—he gave blood.

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In a post on his Instagram page, Dierks can be seen going through the sometimes uncomfortable donation process, but he’s also photographed with the staff at the Red Cross and with his good friend and fiddle player Dan Hochhalter, who also donated.

In the caption that accompanies the photo album, Dierks admits, “First smile in two days thanks to being around other donors and great people @americanredcross #redcross @fiddlindan.”

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He then shared a very honest message about the intense emotional pain he has felt since the event.

“I haven’t really been able to function at all since the shooting,” he wrote. “Such deep sorrow. Sadness. Heavy and dark. My relationship with country music fans, as well as my band and my crew’s relationship with them, is something we all cherish so deeply. Some of those friendships have been forged for well over a decade. My heart breaks over and over again for all those fans in Las Vegas and their families.”

Although music helps heal, recovering from a horrific event such as this won’t happen overnight. Be kind to each other.

Paralyzed by sorrow, a favorite country star shares what is pulling him back from the sadness Instagram/@DierksBentley
Based in Nashville, Tammy is a 20-year veteran of the country music community. She has worked in marketing, PR and artist development in the past. Follow her @TammyGooGoo and join the conversation @RareCountry
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