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Adventures at Home and Abroad

About Survivor’s Guilt

About Survivor’s Guilt

This is a short one, I promise. But maybe it’s one you can relate to, as well.

If you read my last couple posts, you know that the horrific destruction of St. Martin by hurricane Irma was devastating to me. It was really hard for me to cope at all for about a week after the storm hit.

I felt so guilty, so angry, so stupid for having trouble coping when I was even personally affected by the storm. I was a little offended at my own reaction, and I was afraid other people would be, as well.

And then something unexpected happened. Other people were having the same feelings I was. Other people were hitting the same mile markers of grief that I was. I got a lot of great supportive texts and emails from other people in the time between the hurricane and the time we actually had regular communication with the island again.

In the words of my husband, Ben, “It’s OK to feel what you feel.” An article on survivor’s guilt that my friend Lezlie sent me said that all these feelings are normal. The faster we allow them to surface, the faster we can be OK again.

So if you were practically unaffected by Jose, Irma, Harvey or Maria and you’re feeling grief and guilt that you don’t understand, it’s alright.

You can do something with those feelings, too. You take your compassion and sadness and turn them into love. Let’s love on these places that were hit by the hurricanes!

Here’s an article I wrote for The Vacation Times about helping St. Martin. Supporting my island will help me to heal, and it can help you to heal, as well.


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