Sometimes it’s just too much. You try and shield yourself as much as possible from reliving the catastrophe over and over in the media, but still you are drawn to it. I remember when 9/11 happened and we were told not to come into work. We sat glued to the TV screen, horrified by what was happening to our people, in our own country. At some point, I had to leave the house and just take the dogs for a walk. I was dazed. I felt like I had been amidst the wreckage myself. I walked up and down the streets, sobbing uncontrollably, not caring who was around that might see me. No one was around. It was like a ghost town. I realized everyone else was inside, glued to their TV sets, watching the planes crash into the buildings countless times.
Compassion is what makes us human and alive. We connect with the pain of our fellow human beings at times with such acuity that it feels like our own pain. First and foremost, we have to do what we can to help. While hearing about the violence, looting, rapes, and general chaos that has descended on the survivors of the disaster, I am particularly distraught over the plight of the animals that have been left behind, who likely have no one coming to rescue them, who don’t understand what is happening and therefore suffer all the more. We will be donating to both the Red Cross, and to the Louisiana Humane Society. You can access donation centers for both charities, and other legitimate charity organizations that you have a particular passion for, by going to the following website: http://www.networkforgood.org/ --- This website is also particularly helpful since you can donate to the Red Cross even if the Red Cross website is overloaded. Many donations are pouring in, but this tragedy is going to take years and much funding to recover from, so donating any way you can is best.
The next step is to do what you can to ease your pain. For me, that was having a good cry, hugging my dogs and taking them for a walk, writing a few weepy pages in my journal, then drinking a couple glasses of red wine while watching Honolulu Transvestite Hookers on HBO. Your thing may be something else. In fact, I’m guessing it probably will be. Try to limit your exposure to the media. If that means switching to specials on she-males, then why not? We know what the facts are in this tragedy, right? Do what you can to take yourself out of it all for a bit so you are able to go to bed and start fresh in the morning.
Yes, this is our Tsunami. But somehow, it’s all going to be okay. We'll get through it.