The weekend global telethon, Hope for Haiti Now, telecast on all major networks as well as the Internet, brought the tragedy into sharp focus. The news about the aftermath of the earthquake is heartbreaking and the vivid pictures tragic. As in grieving any loss, the people of Haiti are experiencing a wide range of emotions. Initially, many were grateful for surviving the catastrophe. But now they are faced with the realities of all they have lost – family, friends, shelter, food, clean water and a sense of security. And feelings of shock are giving way to disappointment and anger that relief efforts are so slow.
When we see the degree of devastation, it is easy to feel overwhelmed. What can we do to help? When others experience the effects of the violent forces of nature, we can bring some control to this event - and to our own feelings - by our actions and reactions. Even though we are out of harm’s way ourselves, we can understand the need for nurturing in the midst of the dramatic losses our Caribbean neighbors are facing.
Americans, and others across the world, have been offering aid at an unprecedented rate. But the recovery, both physical and emotional, will take a long time. You can contact the Red Cross or other service agencies to learn what you can do to support the Haitians. Or click on the post title above to be linked to the Hope for Haiti Now website. Any assistance is valuable to begin the process of rebuilding body and spirit. In joining together, we can be a part of bringing some help and hope to the Haitian community.
All this week we will be looking at ways to reduce the stress and anxiety we feel when we are faced with these kinds of uncontrollable situations. Tune in tomorrow for a look at some common symptoms you may be experiencing.