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Comments from Our Grief Counselor

It is only two months since the first of several calamities hit our territories and mainland, impacting many of you, your friends, families and coworkers. Man-made or natural, they hit, tsunami-like, ebbing and flowing with such force and fury, lives were forever changed. Yet as I tried researching updates in each area, I could find little to no information for the first impacted areas. I suspect, even know from previous experience, that many people are not much better off than when disaster first struck. Some even may be worse off, struggling with new problems like homelessness, illness, injury and loss of their community, even loved ones. So that leaves me wondering how you all are coping. And not just those in the disaster zones. All of us, outsiders included, were impacted because to witness suffering no matter how afar changes us.

As I drove to church this beautiful Fall day through the rolling hills and farmland I moved to be near two years ago I wondered what it must be like to have lived through your respective ordeals. I mused, "What must it be like to have one`s landscape and environment that is seemingly so enduring suddenly reconfigured, even razed, by wind, rain or fire, or come to represent not fun and music but murder and mayhem such as in Las Vegas?" I tried envisioning it in the moment. Gone would be the houses of my neighborhood, festively dressed for the upcoming celebrations of Halloween and Thanksgiving. A little further along my ride are the farms with livestock and still-to-be harvested dried corn stalks. Interspersed with those are fields which are now bare, save residual broken stalks and kernels which feed foraging Canada geese and other birds taking residence from northern climes.

For a moment, I looked at the fallow fields realizing what I was seeing may have approximated some of the devastation in disaster zones--great swaths of emptiness where just last week were fields full of tall corn rows or golden soy. I know. It isn`t quite the same of course. After all, these cleared fields were planned for the most part and fit within the gradual ebb and flow of seasonal changes that have gone on for hundreds of years, for generations of farming families in some cases. They are predictable, normal. Still the image was jarring in its stark contrast to the last ride I took along those curvvy narrow country lanes. But less savage.

Disasters are terrible in large part because of their unpredictability. Weather forecasting, even when it is spot on, still can`t say what structures or trees will stand and which ones will crumble, be uprooted or be carried away, who will live or be injuried or die. No amount of warning could have prepared any of us for 50+ inches or rain, fast moving water or blazing uncontrollable fire. And those in Las Vegas had no warning at all. Man-made disasters deal a double blow because most of us understand that nature can be unpredictable and unforgiving. But when people perpetrate evil, it is something outside of our comprehension.

So yes, I am thinking of all of you, wondering how you are coping. I am here at 877-884-6227, 24/7. Let me know if you are up to it.



3180 Fairview Park Dr.
Suite 400
Falls Church, VA 22042