Shock and horror has left a prevailing trail of sadness. The death toll was, this morning, 181 and the authroities are predicting it will go higher. We are surrounded by a sea of public grief and it is hard to maintain an even keel. But today has marked some kind of turning point. I noticed that on Monday and Tuesday people at work simply weren't talking about it excepting in hushed whispers or brief hurried tones, and I had to remove the newspapers from the lunch room table yesterday because we weren't coping with the pictures or the headlines. Today people are starting to talk about their emotional reactions, exchanging stories about crying as they heard one horrible story or another. Today also the fundraising and donating has really kicked in. It started late yesterday afternoon as various people sent emails around the office about donation collection points and fundraising ideas. For those of us not personally connected, yet still grieving for others, it brings a welcome opportunity to `do something'.
The newspapers are now full of stories of miraculous escapes or extraordinary reunions of people who had thought they had lost each other. I think about what triggers the ability to move through the tidal wave of emotion from shock, horror, grief, sadness and I wonder what on earth is going to help some of the people who have witnessed too much. As a nation we must talk about it or we will become mired in grief.
I feel for the people who by nature aren't talkers and who just shut down and keep it inside.