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Sunrise – Grief caused by storms

Sunrise – Grief caused by storms

Posted: Thursday, November 6, 2008 8:06 pm
By: Don Harold Lawrence

  As I watched the news coverage of the destruction caused by storms during the recent tornado season, I was reminded of the reaction that my wife, Emily, and I had as we viewed the destruction created by devastating tornadoes that struck McNairy County and Hardin County on March 22, 1991.

As we witnessed the massive destruction created by that storm, loss, grief and heartache were everywhere. Familiar landmarks had been destroyed. Victims were crying and attempting to comfort each other amid the rubble and ruin of what had been their homes and businesses.

During any natural disaster, our primary concern is the safety and survival of human life; however, there is widespread grief in the aftermath of storms, not only because of the loss of life and physical injuries, but also due to the loss of irreplaceable personal possessions. This creates an emotional crisis for many storm-victims.

People experience grief when they lose personal possessions because grief is our normal human reaction to any type of loss. Businesses, homes and personal belongings are not simply material things and possessions, but they also play an important role in giving our lives a certain definition and distinction; they define the daily routines, boundaries, and parameters of our lives. Thus, they help to create the framework within which we live and function from day to day.

Much more than monetary value is lost due to storms. Many homes and businesses that are the culmination of planning, praying, dreaming, sacrificing and working over a period of years are suddenly destroyed by a devastating storm.

Keepsakes and heirlooms that link our lives with people we love and family traditions, the children’s artwork that grandparents treasure, Mom’s needlepoint and scribbled recipes, Dad’s favorite books with personal notes in the margins, Grandmother’s Bible and diary and family wedding photographs are the kinds of personal treasures that cannot be replaced, and, to suffer their loss, is to experience grief.

Don Harold Lawrence is coordinator of SUNRISE, which is sponsored by Shackelford Corporation. He may be contacted by mail at 145 Abernathy Drive, Adamsville, TN 38310-3001 or by telephone or fax at (731) 632-4483. His Web address is
Published in The Messenger 11.6.08

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