Sandy, Grateful and Grieved

with Hurricane Sandy and the catastrophic destruction she caused I have mixed emotions. I am so grateful, so blessed, and yet, part of me feels like a monster for this. I am also grieving, as much as I can for the people I didn’t know, for the destruction of so much, for the pain so many are feeling.

Occasionally, when I am feeling so grateful so elated, no one I love, no one I know was injured. When I am feeling so grateful I do not live in the path of such things, that I am surrounded by land makes me feel safe  in such instances… When I am thankful my parents live on the west coast, not the east… When I am thankful most of my family, my partners family, lives away from the dangers of the open ocean… occasionally when thoughts like this have been coming to me for the past few days… I no longer feel only the sense of elation… but I also begin to feel guilty.

Not everyone is able to say they are unscathed, that their family is safe, their homes untouched… not everyone is able to say that instead of this image greeting them the day of Sandy

 

they were able to see this… a beautiful 75 degree sunny day… where it was “easy” to forget about the horrors going on in the wrath of Sandy’s path.

 

I feel like a monster when I see the pictures of the destruction, when I am told of the millions without power, the 145 men, women, and children who will never again see their families, when I see homes torn apart, sea side “paradises” looking like a war zone… pieces of our very own country underwater, accessible only with scuba gear.

When I see the images of the New York mass transit lines, the subways, and initially think… thats not bad, but feel the horror when I see how deep the water is… momentarily, I can share these peoples grief, but as soon as I breath my sigh of relief, knowing the people I care about are safe… I can feel the monster, inside my body once again.

when I look all over the internet for updates, has anyone else been found, have there been any more horror stories about fathers and sons drowning in their own basement, or children being ripped from their mothers arms by the waves… and I wonder, how can I live with myself knowing… knowing that in the midst of all the grieving being done, of the mothers, fathers, daughters, sons, grandparents, friends, husbands, wives, sisters, brothers… grieving the loss of their families, still searching, hoping to find people alive, hoping the worst has not come… I’m breathing a sigh of relief? Am I lacking in compassion, am I just so self centered? because I can not have that empathy for other human beings, or… is this simply human nature?

do I have any right to feel both grateful and grieving? Do I have any right to grieve for the loss of people I have more than likely never met? Never even heard of? Or do I  have no right to be thankful? I wonder how much worse it would have been if I had lived through the storm, right at the heart of it? having survivors guilt… or seeing these horrors with my own eyes? What can I do?

With the destruction caused, and so soon to the Presidential elections, is either candidate, our Current President Barack Obama, or hopeful Mitt Romney, is either of them going to bite their tung, are either of them cursing some of the words they have spoken? Both are back trying to get people to vote for them through, and from what I have been told, Mitt never stopped, but then again, he doesn’t have the responsibility of a country in his hands, with part of the country in crisis.  Would a privatized FEMA do any better at the relief? or… would even more have to suffer.

I, even if I have no right to, grieve for those who have lost their lives, their homes, their loved ones, their power, their hope due to this devastating Hurricane.

and I…. even if I have no right to in the midst of such destruction, am grateful for my home, but more importantly for the lives of those I love. I have known I am lucky for a very long time, I have family who loves me, friends who love me, a safe place to sleep at night, food on my table, a job… but it seems every once and a while, we loose sight of what is important. Its not the things we want, or the things we have, but the people we hold near and dear to our hearts… this is where my hope lays, in my Amazing Love, who I know will stand with me, catch me when I fall, hold me while I cry. In my wonderful parents, who let me make my own choices, even when they are occasionally the wrong ones, support me for who I am, and Love me, both for my flaws and my perfections. In my sisters, all of them, even though we may not all be close, I am thankful to have, to know I am loved. In my friends… my close friends, and the ones I barely get to see. In my Deaf community, who support my choices, who understand me, who accept the changes I am making, even when they don’t understand them. For these people, they are part of who I am… and for them, and I am so very grateful.

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2 thoughts on “Sandy, Grateful and Grieved

  1. Yes, you have a right to feel both ways. You are human…possibly a bit more human than many. A lot of people don’t feel anything unless it touches them personally. You can empathize, and sympathize, even if it is for people you do not know. You are a good person for feeling such things.

    I live close to the east coast, and used to live closer. I’ve been through a few hurricanes and tornadoes. It’s strange when you are caught up in it, and you feel more relief that I wasn’t hurt, my immediate family wasn’t hurt. Yes my parents lost their house….and they were in it when the storm hit, but they were fine. I had such elation each time I found out the people I knew were alright, I often felt guilty that I didn’t feel more for the people who were not so lucky.

    Don’t analyze these emotions too much, or beat yourself up for your feelings. Have joy that your loved ones are safe, and acknowledge that you feel for the others who aren’t. One does not negate the other. You don’t need to feel more for those who have lost so much, send out your thoughts of love and compassion to both your loved ones and those you feel for whom you have never met. Do not agonize that one needs to be more or one less….you are wonderful to think about the hurt you do not know….and for showing your love to those you do.

    • thank you. thank you for your validation… and understand that I can feel both, that I’m allowed to feel both happy and sad about something. and I am so happy you are ok too, the past hurricanes and tornadoes haven’t taken you or your family away!
      I’ve never been good at keeping my feelings in check… at keeping them balanced. I’m either happy, so very very happy, or so very sad…
      I’m one of those people who wear my feelings on my sleeve, becoming a blubbering baby at the slightest provocation, or keep them walled, jailed and chained… becoming stone. A person made of stone… I guess it is the conundrum that is me… a blubbering stone…
      I have always agonized over my feelings as well, wondering if my feelings, my actions would be hurting those I love, those who I let in… or the many unknown faces of the people I do not know… because my actions, my words, my feelings… they can hurt them too.

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