Empathy For the Victims Of Juaning And Kabayan

Typhoon Juaning In the PhilippinesAlong with many other Filipinos, I have been following the news regarding storms Juaning and Kabayan (international names Nock-ten and Muifa) as they hit the Philippines.  It hasn't been easy seeing so many people practically floating or swimming on murky waters in the flooded streets of Luzon.

Water levels rose to as high as chest-deep for adults and some people held on to whatever debris was available to stay afloat.

As I watched all this on the news, running through my mind was, "Oh no, those poor people.  First, they have to struggle to survive.  Then, they have to face the fact that they just lost whatever security their homes and possessions provide.  Finally, they have to start establishing normalcy in their lives once again."

The past 2 days, I sat and imagined myself in that situation.  I have to, because watching the news with its daily dose of disasters sometimes makes me immune to empathy for the people in these situations.  And I don't want that.  So I have to remind myself and ask myself, "What if it happened to me?"

The news services say:

"...almost 2 dozen are still missing..." - What if my mother or my brother or my sister is one of those 2 dozen?  2 dozen doesn't sound like a lot, but 1 loved one is everything.

"...among the fatalities were some toddlers and babies..." - And I think of my close friend who just gave birth to a lovely baby boy after 2 miscarriages.

"...some died when boats and vessels capsized..." - I imagine dying from the tossing and turning of the sea, the aloneness in the midst of nature's fury, and of not having the chance to say goodbye.

"...4 adults and 2 children died from a landslide..." - I imagine stones, pebbles, and soil raining down on me, engulfing me, filling my face, my nostrils, my mouth.  It is a painful and abrupt way to die, as is life has been easily severed with a pair of scissors.

I should stop now because I'm starting to sound morbid!  I just wanted to share how it must have been for the victims and for the families they left behind.  The horrors of their deaths will probably stay with the living for years to come, playing over and over in their minds.

And for those who are still missing, there is still hope.  Hope that they are alive, hope that they will be restored to those who are crying for them.  And I pray for these people the hardest because they are the ones who still have a future here on earth.

For now, Filipinos are struggling with disaster recovery.  And this is where we can help.  You don't have to give us donations (though they are always appreciated!).  You can also help by spreading the word.  An influx of prayers is just as welcome.  Thank you...

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