Thursday, December 30, 2004

Empathy

Smartmom remembers what it felt like on 9/11 and the days and weeks after. Close to 3000 New Yorkers were dead and no-one knew what was going to happen next. Speaking to friends and family in other places, Smartmom knew they couldn't possibly understand how desparate and sad it felt to be a New Yorker then. They just didn't get it -- even if they were incessantly watching the news or listening to NPR.

We were traumatized, we were scared, we were enduring something entirely new.

How then must it feel to be a survivor of this disaster that has claimed close to 100,000 lives? That is an unthinkable number -- entire villages, families, communities, towns. And as the survivors grieve, they must worry about the aftermath. Aside from the risk of disease, how will they rebuild their lives, rebuild their communities, rebuild themselves after this trauma?

Smartmom remembers how it felt with her 3000 gone, with her buildings reduced to white dust, rescue workers searching for remains day after day, night after night.

One cannot compare disasters, one cannot compare pain. Every life lost is huge.

But the magnitude of this tragedy makes one stop still and contemplate what it means to be alive when one's life can be extinguished in a matter of seconds.

Smartmom remembers how her tragedy felt three years ago. And now, at this distance, she knows she can barely imagine what it must feel like to be a mother trying to comfort and care for a child or a child searching for her parents, or a parent grieving for her lost little one.

That is her empathy: that she cannot even begin to know, to understand.

1 Comments:

At 12:48 PM, Blogger brooklynfox said...

SM, I'm sick over this whole thing. I made donations to Save the Children and to The Red Cross/Red Crescent. It's unfathomable. Unthinkable. Unimaginable. I'm just sick over it. Wish you were here to talk to. Can't wait until you are back. xxooRFJ

 

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