It has been over a week since the earthquake and the terrible events that have taken place since then. Why do I choose to write about them now, rather than right after the disaster? I want to make a point that even though people there need us and need our support, they are going to need it long after it has become immediate news. The families who have lost loved ones, the people who have lost their livelihoods, limbs, and what little else they had will be coping with those losses long after the major news networks have moved on to the next sound bite. It is a lot like widowhood in a way. There comes a time when people outside of what you've suffered and lost expect you to be "over it" in a short amount of time without understanding that you never get over a loss like this. Life changing events are just that, and are not meant to be "gotten over". It is something you carry with you always. The people of Haiti will carry this with them always, and there isn't going to be a time limit or expiration date on our help. There shouldn't be after something like this.
The question we need to ask now is "what can I do to help?" and follow through with it. So many people say, "let me know if you need anything," and never follow through with it. Don't "almost do" something to help - DO something to help. Donate to the Red Cross and UNICEF for Haitian relief. If there is a supply drive being sponsored by your local organization, drop something off. And the most important thing of all to remember is not to be impatient that rebuilding is going to take longer than anybody can ever imagine. Grief and tragedy have their own timelines, but we can do what we can to help people affected by the tragedy move, survive, and eventually thrive one moment at a time.