I am truly feeling physically sick these last few days about the devastation in Haiti.
It's similar to the feeling you get after someone you love dies and you have instances of momentarily forgetting and laughing at something or having an inane thought and then realizing "What am I doing forgetting?!" once the feeling of dread creeps back again.
I think normally it would be semi-easy to shut off if I could will myself to ignore the news since all of those people are outside of my personal "Monkeysphere" (did you read the article I linked the other day?) but as someone who has to do hypno-breathing in the confined space of a crowded elevator...the thought of people being trapped and alone and scared has me out of my mind with anxiety. Yes, it's sad for everyone else who died or lost family, but these people who are stuck or hidden somewhere under rubble are what haunts me.
Also, we live in an area with a lot of Haitian immigrants and the pictures of these terrified, broken people and the piles of bodies remind me too much of people in our community--kids from Big Kid's class, the garage sale hagglers who can be maddening, the hardworking families I met through real estate who were pooling their money and purchasing investment properties with cash, all with some interesting or scary story of how they got here. All very real people, just like the people there.
And Haiti really sucked before all of this. Haitians were already prisoners to poverty and government oppression. Seeing these tattered people on mountains of rubble trying to dig their people out, looking tired and like they know it's pointless but what else can they do? God. Aside from the bodies and the diseases and the complete loss of the little anyone had, just the physical task of clearing the area will be monumental. And that's the least of their problems.
Also, if I hear anyone bitch about being sick of hearing about it (and I have already)--I will slap you in the face. It's actually fairly easy to avoid...for the first day there was an awful lot of Leno/Conan crap competing for news space with it. The truth of the matter is that there is some amazing, courageous reporting coming from Haiti right now. We're all quick to bitch when CNN is discussing the Gosselins, so let's give credit where credit is due for reporters camped out in razor-wire protected compounds in one of the scariest places on earth right now, just so that we can know what's going on in our world. If the news wasn't overwhelmed with it--that would be sickening. That would be serious evidence that human compassion has dwindled to extend only as far as the contestants on American Idol. Ugh.
Anyway, sorry to start Friday morning with something so depressing. The sun is out and it's warm here again and life is good but the thought of everything going on there is completely overwhelming. NPR has a great list of places you can donate to, we chose Doctors without Borders but I know Yele has been doing some good things in the area for quite a while now. Anything is better than nothing.