Hurricane Sandy | Searching for Words After the Storm
I haven't been able to find the words that reflect the colossal damage that has occurred on the eastern part of the country due to Hurricane Sandy. There are plenty of pictures and most of us have seen, through them, a small idea of the horrific loss of property, homes, landscape, memories and life.
There have been several pieces of writing that I've started so that I could publish them here, on this blog. And I haven't published any of them. That is unusual for me.
This is so big that words truly fail me, in any conventional way.
What do you say when people have lost so many things that define their lives? Their homes; they are the places that they have lived, that have memories peeking out of every corner. Their connection to their past, what has come before. We see our families of a year ago, five years ago, twenty years ago in the places that they once were. We see them sitting in a chair reading or in the kitchen cooking, or laughing over a silly comment in a living room. Our homes are more than physical shells, they are our homes, where we've lived and laughed and cried and been alive. Our homes are our visual heritages, and are often our precious reminders of family who are no longer on this earth.
There is a sense in the air of gratiude, as absolute in it's presence as the earth below us. In some places right now, it's just the faintest of presence, existing in the air, like a scent floating on the wind as it moves past you. Just like the earth below us though, it shifts and moves and is unpredictable right now. I respect that for some, it's nearly impossible to even consider feeling grateful in the aftermath of loss.
A Time to Grieve, to Acknowledge Loss
And like every other season, there is a time to grieve. To acknowledge loss. To mourn for what is gone.
Rebuilding will come, restoring hope has already begun. Grieving has a right to it's time, rather than rushing past it. We mourn for what we've lost.
We mourn for those affected by this storm. We mourn for lives permanently changed or lost. We mourn for neighborhoods burned or flooded. We mourn for landscapes that no longer look and will never look the same.
And I encourage us all to send our love, our compassion, our gratitude to those suffering. We know what it's like to suffer. The details may be different, dramatically different.
Pain is pain. Grief is grief. Loss is loss.
Whether it is loss of our home, our loved one, our neighborhood, our pregnancy, our fertility.
Pain is pain.
Allow that to bring us together as living beings.
We breathe into gratitude for what we have. We breathe into hope for the future.
We grieve for what we lost.
As it should be.