The Cat 5 of Life

~Kim Libertini

Photo by NASA on Unsplash

As the news reports increased and the hurricane storm in the Atlantic assembled, it was clear this storm would be catastrophic.  The latest report had it classified as a Category 5, with wind speeds of 157mph or higher and enough intensity to level houses and destroy buildings. People were not just watching. They were engaging in conversations of deep sympathy. The news feeds were filled with stories of people assembling to pitch-in and offer help to the destroyed areas. I knew these acts of human kindness would continue until the devastated areas were rebuilt and thriving again.  And it made me think. 

Loss of a loved one is much like a Category 5 hurricane. It ensues complete devastation. Yet so many people I have spoken to report that shortly after loss there’s a dramatic reduction of support and little-to-no gestures of help. Those devastated by loss have to rebuild on their own. Why are humans less likely to sympathize with those suffering emotional devastation? Why is it acceptable to broadcast about communities that have been destroyed by storms but we fail to discuss how a family structure can be leveled by loss? Are emotions that intangible?

We need to speak more freely about loss and grief.  The more we articulate these emotions the more tangible the road of grief will become.  Humans will be able to relate, if we give them visions of what emotional loss looks like.  Ultimately, if we normalize grief, when the Cat 5 of life hits, we will increase the longevity of grief support for those having to rebuild. This is why I will keep blogging about grief and loss.  I hope you too will help fuel compassion and support the grief conversation. 

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