Friday, November 9, 2012

Finding Hope after Superstorm Sandy

Here on the East Coast, we have been through a great deal in the past couple of weeks as we protected ourselves and our families and friends from Superstorm Sandy and Nor'easter Athena and began to cope with the aftermath.  
I hope you are safe and were not affected too badly by Superstorm Sandy.  My thoughts and prayers go out to those who experienced disastrous consequences, those who have been displaced, and anyone continuing to live without electricity.   

Here at the Jersey Shore and the East Coast, we have experienced a heightened state of alertness and trauma as the unimaginable happened.  Homes, businesses, and landmarks were destroyed in the blink of an eye.  Towns are beyond recognition.  Millions of people had power outages. The familiar is no longer familiar.  And, all of it was beyond anyone's control.  Pretty terrifying stuff!
Personally, I experienced five days without power and steady phone service.  I was grateful to still have running water.  Although it was not ideal, the lack of electricity was probably a good thing.  It delayed me from seeing images of the devastation.

My first glimpse of the magnitude of the destruction came last Friday night via the Red Cross telethon on NBC.  I cried for the first time.   I was "calm, cool, and collected" all week, but it was time to release some grief and regroup.
I am a native Jersey Girl!  Watching footage of the roller coaster at Seaside Heights floating in the ocean or water running down Ocean Avenue in Sea Bright like a river felt surreal.   It's still hard to wrap my head around it, but I know that we will recover.

Everyone involved must come together and do the best we can in the circumstances.   As devastating as the storm has been, good things are already coming from it. Already, we have witnessed a community supporting each other. People who were once strangers are now friends. Friends who went through the storm together are now family - bound together forever by the experience.
Those of you who have been fortunate enough to witness the events from afar will also benefit. Hopefully, we will all take away a reminder of how precious life is. We can take nothing for granted. We have so much to be thankful for each day.

I want to remind everyone who is in the affected areas to do the best they can to take good care of themselves.  We have experienced great loss and trauma and will need time to grieve.   You may be sad, scared, or anxious.  It is okay to admit your feelings.  Talk with family and friends or a professional.  Isolation will only serve to intensify your emotions.
Be cognizant of the amount of time you spend watching the news or surfing the Internet, looking for details about the storm.  Stay abreast of information, but be careful not to become too consumed.  If possible, channel that energy into something more productive.  Is there anything you can do to help someone else? 

Try to use the information as a reminder to practice an attitude of gratitude. Pray or send good thoughts to the victims and their families.  Remind yourself to appreciate even the "little" things - such as, being alive, running water,  the technology allowing you to read this post.  Fear and negativity won't stand a chance against your positive thoughts! 
Please feel free to contact me with any questions or comments.  I am here to support you!

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