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Filush-Glaze: We Will Never Forget

From the moment the first calls started coming in, I knew it was going to be much bigger than anyone had anticipated. 

As the number of the death count continued to rise, an overwhelming feeling of grief gripped my heart and then tried to prepare me for what was coming, however nothing could have possibly prepared me for what I have actually seen and experienced since the tornadoes made their uninvited appearance, leaving pain and destruction in their wake. 

Families have lost everything, hundreds have been displaced and countless others are now suffering the pain and devastation of having lost loved ones in a way that no one could have ever imagined, and yet- here we are, shocked, dazed and suffering from unbearable pain.

Due to the nature of this catastrophic event, people have been placed in the eye of the public media, their stories played out on televisions and social media around the world.  Their grief has not been allowed to be private, which adds another dimension of pain that many have not even stopped to consider, a pain that is raw and uninhibited, plastered forever in the countless numbers of publications desperate to hear the stories of those who survived this harrowing experience.

And yet, most of them are talking about it, a need so great to relieve themselves of the weight of their loss, and in a way, it is bringing them some comfort in validating that what they are feeling and what they are currently going through is real and most importantly, valid. Perhaps the reoccurring theme

I have addressed the most with the survivors is, “Why am I still here?  Survivor’s guilt is a normal reaction to a catastrophic event and there has been a ton of it voiced from hundreds of people who have recounted their experience and still find themselves in awe that they were spared from the grips of this monster of a storm. 

And now, the rebuilding begins — not just of homes and neighborhoods lost, but in the lives of a community that has come together to stand alongside one another.  Almost immediately, the “helpers” started to arrive and areas were designated to support those families directly impacted as well as the first responders and countless others who were trying to reach them.

There has been zero shortage of unspoken acts of kindness and the giving of oneself to aid fellow neighbors or people we don’t even know, and it has been truly breathtaking. 

What those storms tore apart managed to keep from stealing our spirit, and we will rebuild because from what I have witnessed, we are most definitely stronger together.