More about one year anniversaries of disasters.
1. Hold a memorial for what was lost. Have a good cry for all that is permanently gone – your stuff, your savings, your dream, your sense of security. Your lost year. Whatever. Have a good ceremony. Comfort food. Play some blues. Bawl your eyes out.
2. Relive the funniest most ridiculous part of the journey. Reenact it with family members. Notice when you were at your most outrageous and double over with laughter at your ridiculous expectations. Your flimsy efforts to control. There is humor in every situation. (Cajun gospel)
3. Revisit your “storm friends” those people you connected with in your efforts to survive or respond. Folks whose faces you were so glad to see, you still get a lump in your throat when you think of them. Relive the moment you were most grateful for them. Call them up and tell them. Hang up and call another one. You will know these people for a very long time.
4. Rethink your recovery. If you had a goal of getting it all back to “before” and that hasn’t worked, consider this an opportunity to abandon “re-cover”, or “re-build”. Instead re-think. All of it wasn’t great and even if it was, you can stop trying to get it all back and decide to go forward.
5. Feel a sense of solidarity with millions of people all over the world, those alive now and those who have come before. We are all survivors. We’re all in this together and upheaval is the oldest story in the human book. We know how to recreate our lives.
I credit all the brave and funny people I’ve met after fires, floods and wars who’ve taught me life changing lessons in being human.