Thursday, June 20, 2013

Alberta Flood 2013 (Updated)

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Friday, June 21, 2013

This is usually a slow flowing, shallow section of the Bow River in southeast Calgary, running at a level of at least two meters below the pathway. But this is trivial and in no way illustrates the far reaching devastation of heavy rain over a large area of southern Alberta in a short amount of time.  For only a few links to these, see my Facebook posts around June 20, 2013 or search Twitter for the hashtag #yycflood

There is loss. Great loss. Much deep sadness. But some may not know this gnawing at the base of their sturnum for what it is: anxiety, heartbreak and unadulterated grief.

Lord have mercy.

Those who lose property - or even, God forbid, a loved one - to this cataclysmic weather event, these are not the only ones who will grieve. Those of us on high ground, watching the places we love destroyed by water and debris, watching the roads to get to the places we love swept away in a torrent, we too will grieve. Watching those we love have their lifelong homes and livelihood ripped away, flooded, buried by the rubble from another's home, mountainside erosion or highway destruction... this too causes grief.

And we will grieve. We will all grieve.

We will soldier on, and we will work and we will be busy and we are Alberta Strong and this is all right and necessary and beautiful and good. But we would all do well to remind ourselves of the five stages of grief (click here) and know we are all affected. Denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance. The stages come in any order, and in varying intensity over a long period of time. No amount of work or good deeds or volunteerism or busyness or help given to the less fortunate will heal this.

Every new loss, just like this raging water, makes it's own channel and takes its own path. Some losses tear more deeply into the gashes of previous grief, and travels very familiar dark canyons and throws you over precipices.

For now, if you are physically safe, breathe a prayer, beg heaven to stop the rain. Then, please, for God's sake, even though the anger stage makes you want to find someone to blame, and the denial stage makes you want to joke or be sarcastic, and any other stage makes you want to fix the problem; here's my request: Please, just keep opinions and dysfunctional coping mechanisms to yourself. If you can't say something good, don't say anything at all. Take a deep breath, smile, open your eyes, open your heart and lend a hand.

There will be time to go through every stage. And you will.

Hang on.

Healing comes.

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