Sunday, November 6, 2005

Katrina Survivor's Guilt

This morning I went to Sunrise Solutions and saw my old crowd. Hurricane Katrina is still the biggest topic of discussion here- up in Philadelphia, Hurricane Katrina was over about a week after the storm. People are sorry when they hear we came up from New Orleans, but it's not the topic of discussion on every street corner.

Here in New Orleans Hurricane Katrina is still very much alive. People are still dealing with evaporated jobs, insurance, house repairs, lost pets... Everyone is stressed. Relationships are breaking up and there are a lot more divorces.

My friends Val, Mari, and Isaac helped me move almost everything out of the house today. It looks like I will be able to finish this up by tomorrow morning. Mari and Isaac helped even though their house is totalled with 8 feet of water damage. They helped me tremendously.

We stopped for lunch and I talked about what I am feeling: survivor's guilt. Our house is fine. Once I pack up our stuff, I will drive back to our house in Philadelphia and the hurricane will be over for us. But the people of New Orleans will not get over Hurricane Katrina tomorrow or next week or even next year. Parts of the city will never be right again. And parts of many peoples' lives will not be right either.

So I feel guilty because we're out of here. I feel guilty because the worst that has happened to us has been a massively inconvenient emergency relocation. But we lost nothing. If our insurance comes through, we won't even have lost any money.

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