Grief. It comes in waves and sweeps through our lives like a runaway freight train. We can’t control the feelings of helplessness, loss and anger. There are times when we can’t bear the debilitating emotions any longer, especially when closure is a long way off. I am referring to the family members, of the victims, of the Lynn University Haiti earthquake.
And then there was six. Six missing students and faculty who are still very much a part of the Lynn University “family.” They have been missing for more then a week and the agony of not knowing where their loved ones are is taking it’s toll on the remaining family members.
The family members of Patrick Hartwick ,Richard Bruno and students Brittany Gengel, Christine Gianacaci, Courtney Hayes and Stephanie Crispinelli are all going through a very difficult time. The last time their loved ones were seen was directly prior to the earthquake, in the Hotel Montana in Port-au-Prince, Haiti.
Since then, as private crews dispatched from Lynn University sift through the rubble, no information on the missing has been forthcoming. No information at all. The families are clinging to the hope that their fathers and children may still be alive, in air pockets beneath all the remains of the hotel.
Others have been found alive after being trapped for up to 5 days. Could one of their relatives have the same outcome? That’s where the word hope comes in. Hope remains as the days bring more and more bleak reports. All you have to do is turn on the news to see the horrors of Haiti. No water. No food. No shelter. Yet there is hope. Hope that supplies will eventually reach those who need them so badly.
It’s a very frustrating position to be in, when you can’t roll up your sleeves and jump in and help. Haiti had limited resources before the earthquake. The families of the victims are helpless. They are at the mercy of another country and their laws and policies. As each day goes by with no word from those on the ground, a little bit of hope is stripped away.
It doesn’t always take a death for someone to grieve. A loss in general, brings about the same emotions. Not knowing where your child is, as you retire to bed each night, is torture for these families. Memories of the missing come flooding back. The first day of school. The birthday parties. The proms. All beautiful memories over a week ago, now take on a macabe sense of uncertainty. These memories can be crushing.
So what can one do to cope? The families are showing you how. By clinging to each other and as a group speaking out about what needs to be done and using the media to get their words out to the rest of the nation.
That is why I wrote another article on Lynn University’s missing. If one small article can help make others aware of Lynn’s plight, then so be it. I will not let this story go away until the missing are found. If I can help give anything to the families it would be a sense of closure. No matter what the outcome.
LisaRKohl@aol.com Email me anytime. Tell us your story. Subsrcibe to my columns.