Arizona Gov. Brewer said she has been unable to sleep while reflecting on the pain inflicted on everyone involved in Tucson's tragedy. DARRYL WEBB / THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

Gov. Jan Brewer said she witnessed "true healing" when she visited University Medical Center Tuesday after delivering an abbreviated address to the Arizona Chamber of Commerce.

"It was very unlike what I expected," said Brewer, who had a chance to visit with trauma physicians as well as patients and their families.

"This has been very heavy on my heart," she said. She was unable to sleep Monday night as she reflected on the pain inflicted on everyone involved, as well as what recovery will look like for the victims and their loved ones.

"It all seems so insurmountable to get over and comprehend," Brewer said.

Then she saw the patients, whose spirits seemed high. Ron Barber, Giffords' district director, even cracked a few little jokes, she said. "He's certainly going to have some recovery, considering what he has gone through, but the man has a strong spirit. He's going to pull through this.

"Today, I know what resiliency is and how people can come together and support one another and heal," she added.

Brewer was unable to see Giffords, although she met with Giffords' husband and mother. Describing Giffords as "charming and warm," Brewer said she looks forward to working with her again in the future.

Brewer, who also had a briefing with the FBI on the status of the case, headed back to Phoenix afterward to sign a bill setting boundaries for funeral protests. She said she will return to Tucson again today to attend the memorial service at the University of Arizona with President Obama.

Contact Rhonda Bodfield at or 573-4243.