Last summer my sister and her husband awoke in the middle of the night to a loud crashing noise and saw flames shooting up outside their second floor bedroom window. The sound was that of glass shattering.
The fire started under the veranda. Earlier in the day they had tried to burn out a wasp nest. At eight o’clock in the evening they thought the fire was completely out.
There is no way I can fully comprehend how it must feel to lose one’s house and possessions. I cannot imagine the panic, or the flashbacks, or the haunting dread of having to face the devastation, or the feeling of paralysis when suddenly numerous decisions need to be made.
The couple was fully insured and initially the insurance company was helpful in providing money for immediate needs and putting them up in a hotel. But after that there were numerous snags and requirements to meet before they could be reimbursed and start rebuilding. Every little item had to be recorded and then priced if they were to receive any money for it. New house plans had to be drawn and quotes obtained from three different contractors. All of this was faced by a family whose lives were shattered.
When we are suddenly forced to close a chapter of our lives we wish we could go back, but we cannot. Grief is not only about the thing that is irreversible, but also the loss of what might have been, and sometimes the loss of faith in life being good.
Recovering from loss is different for each person. Some take longer. Some suffer from depression while others don’t. It is a process of restoration of faith. Recovery can happen when we begin to embrace the hope that there is still good in store for us.