There’s this certain sort of helplessness that spreads through us in times like these. We all want to do something, want to help each of those people in the southeast who’ve been left to fend, forage, survive and grieve.
But to say I want to help isn’t enough. Writing this isn’t enough.
The thing is, it’s all I know to do. There are few things I can do in situations such as these. I can lift things, but there’s nothing to be lifted. I have nothing to send to Louisiana or Mississippi. Were it possible, I would get on a plane and fly down there to do something—unfold cots, distribute whatever food or water there might be. Had I any money, I would donate it.
Yesterday, as I sat through my weekly grief counseling session, I wished I could donate that hour of therapy to someone who needed it.
We talk of sending money, and food, and clothing. What hasn’t been talked about yet is one of the seemingly non-essential survival mechanisms disaster survivors need: debriefing, counseling, therapy. One thing I’ve learned in the past year and a half is that therapy is a necessary part of survival after loss. I know that the disaster victims will need it. How could they not—after loosing their grips on their loved ones, only to have them float away and drown, after seeing bodies rotting in the late summer sun?
There must be something I can do. There must be some way I can apply my skills and resources, some way I can transition what little I have into something helpful, something that will, if nothing else, help someone else survive.
This desire I have to help people is intensifying. It’s becoming such a large part of me that I feel its immediacy every moment. And I’m finding there is little I can do other than work over the equation again and again. How to help, how to help…