Personal grief such as the loss of a spouse, child, friend, loved one is similar to the losses suffered by masses of people.   The main difference is the gravity of the situation which almost always includes post traumatic stress disorders.  Haiti has presented its own unique problems that all society must deal with when a large disaster takes place.  The outstanding feature that the group of people in Haiti are suffering and will continue to suffer from is the scope and magnitude of the loss.  It is almost incomprehensible.

These wonderful people have lost trust, feelings of safety, loss of family, and the very safety of the earth which they feel betrayed by.  I will try to sort out some.  This subject will have the capacity of filling many books and conversations on mass grieving such as this earthquake, any other earthquakes, tsunamis, Fort Hood, and the Twin Towers, and any terrorism.  Lives are lost, some at the hands of others, and some by the force of nature.

The loss of control of ones life is incomprehensible.  Some people will begin to come out of the shock, and awe of the disaster to attempt to put some simplicity and habits back into their lives.   The mass feelings of sadness, depression, isolation and deep loneliness are going to be very hard to fix.  The masses of hurt and sadness of all the people will help and at the same time feed the hurt and loss. This beautiful country needs medical help, food, re-building and the basic beginnings to start life again.  What we have not heard too much about is the mass grief from the destruction and loss of life.  Children have lost parents and entire families, and are prey to be manipulated.  One must ask?  Who is taking charge?  The volunteer organizations can only do so much.  Many people will fall through the cracks, who need major psychological help.  Out of this psychological stress are behavioral changes, emotional changes, and cognitive change, which is all know as stress related.

In America we live in a society that many times thinks it is better to just get on with life.  Nothing can be farther from the truth to Haiti and its people, who have suffered such major group loss in their lives.  We need psychologists, therapists, psychiatrists, and social workers, and mental health professionals to also donate their efforts to help these people.  It is not only the body that must heal with the survivors, it is the mind.  The people who survived under the ruble for days without food and water, also will begin to be plagued by what could have happened to them…

These losses all create an emotional whirlwind that time alone cannot heal.  Some questions about this subject will probably never be satisfactorily answered.  I have always felt that the DABDA model of grieving in people is a poor model.  People cannot grieve in stages of denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance.  This confuses grievers that there are categorical stages they must go through.  This presumption is that time heals all emotional wounds.  Strong actions must be taken to recover from loss.   (credit for last paragraph….Grief Recovery Handbook.    More later….Please ask or submit your suggestions and questions…….Diane