Right now I am completely overwhelmed.
Overwhelmed with grief and pain and fear. I am reading bad news about people I know and love. I am wondering if our dear Haiti will ever be the same again.
I am overwhelmed, too, by the kindness of strangers and friends. I left Haiti on Saturday with my two children and a small bag each, and now we are all dressed head to toe in other people's clothes, talking to professional counselors, being given things and bought things and encouraged and helped.
Overwhelmed, too, with guilt - why me, why is my family all alive when so many others are dead, why am I getting all this love and affection when others are still lying under buildings, why did I get to leave when others can not?
Leaving was such a difficult choice, because a huge part of me wanted to stay and suffer this with my Haitian family, but I was sitting at home taking care of my children, using resources others could use, distracting my husband from his relief work because he was worried for us. I have stayed through many crises in the past: a flight embargo, a US invasion, kidnappings, the departure of a president leading to days of violence and chaos - and yet all of these things now seem so trivial, leaving me wondering why we were making such a fuss.
I am overwhelmed by the idea of continuing with life, making choices, decisions, looking at the future. How? How, when people are still missing, and beloved friends are having funerals, and tomorrow promises to bring more of the same?
3 hours ago