Helplessness & Haiti

It’s been over two weeks since the earthquake devastated the people of Haiti.

Tens of thousands have died, including people you may know. And along with a desire to help, and a deepening sense of helplessness as we watch that impoverish nation respond, I am struck by a familiar conflict, or perhaps it is an observation about human life.

I continue to wonder how my life can go on in its normal way while massive, untold despair, suffering and death occurs around me. It’s the same experience those who suffer grief describe: how does the world continue on its way while my life seems to have stopped?

I struggle with a low-grade angst; not a guilt exactly, but close to it. As if I have witnessed a massive car crash from the safety of my own vehicle and go careening by, with just a glance in my rear view mirror. I continue on, glad it wasn’t me in that car, confident someone more capable is responding.

I believe this soft anguish reflects this existential truth: we are single human beings. We are separate from one another at birth, and will die that way. In between, we live daily life as multiple connections. When connections are broken, by suffering we cannot solve, or death we cannot stop, we are brought up short by the truth of our singleness of self.

What is grief but the crashing in of this solitude, and the choice to risk connecting again?

Kyrie eleison.    Lord, have mercy.

One thought on “Helplessness & Haiti”

  1. Well written piece here. How can any human not be affected by Haiti's tragic history and current events? But in reality we are just like them, perhaps not this past month, but all of us suffer tragedy at some point, and death surrounds us all every single day, in the news, in our lives, in our minds, tragedy lurks below the surface. It is the power of the human will that pushes some of us forward to carry on, to love and create new life again. It is there, I believe, you will find the divine. Love, life, death and rebirth. I believe we will all find out some day, that this is a Holy cycle, one that simpleton mankind cannot even begin to fathom. While mankind has created many liars, deceitful and evil people, there is always someone, at least one person, who will rise up, who resists the tide, who seeks the higher ground and reaches out to the others who are alone in their suffering. This human will keeps the cycle moving as it was so carefully designed so very long ago.

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