|Sifto Salt Mine, Goderich Harbour, Goderich, Ontario, July 2014|
It was a major blow. For the town. For tourism which the town thrives on. For the people whose homes were blown away and apart. Especially for the family whose loved one died that day. All he was doing was working at the mine. Unfortunately, he was working above ground, not in the mine itself safely hidden under the lake.
Major rebuilding had to occur. Along with major healing.
For a better look at the Goderich tornado damage in the immediate aftermath, please check out the link provided. The pictures are heartbreaking in their intensity, in their devastation.
Take a look at the pictures below which were taken in May, 2012 approximately 9 months after the tornado.
|A main street in Goderich leading down to the beach and harbour areas.|
|The courthouse where a farmer's market was taking place.|
|Damage still evident on the main traffic circle in town|
|Down at the harbour, Sifto Salt is still repairing the damage|
Nine months later, repair and restoration were still happening. Work in progress was still visible.
Nine months later, life was not back to normal. Getting close, but not there yet. I was told about one family who had lost their home in the tornado. It had just been rebuilt and they were finally back in their own home. Nine months later.
The aftermath of tornadoes and trauma just doesn't magically disappear after a short period of time. It takes work - and courage - to repair and rebuild.
If physical damage takes so long to restore and repair, what about people like me? And you? What about our damage? Damage that no picture can capture? Damage that is internal? Damage that is emotional?
What about the emotional "tornados" that trounce through our lives, leaving no markers in their wake? No physical debris littering the scene. No sirens of emergency personnel or vehicles.
Just quiet. Unless you can hear the tears. The screams that reverberate in the victim's soul but don't penetrate through their mouths.
But what would you think, what would you perceive and assume, if you could hear them? If I did wail heartbrokenly in my misery and devastation? What you understand? Or at least try to understand? What would sit with me and embrace me in your love? Or would you be a Job's comforter and give me useless words of advice and "wisdom"? Words that sound good to you, but leave me feeling cold and more alone than ever? Would you tell me to move on while my mind is still processing and assessing the damage?
This is another place where perceptions and assumptions occur on the part of others. They assume that because there is no physical wreckage, nothing visible to the naked eye, there has not been any substantial damage. That healing should occur immediately.
Those around us cannot see the damage; therefore, they don't perceive its reality in our lives. Thus, they have no patience when it takes us days, weeks, months and even years to find our way out of the mess, to repair, to rebuild. We're not rebuilding a building here; we're totally reinventing our lives. We're becoming totally new from the inside out. Nothing a coat of paint can do.
They feel that we should get over it quickly.
Looking at the trauma still visible in Goderich nine months after the tornado, still being repaired, how much deeper and long lasting is internal damage caused by trauma? How much longer does it take to repair?
This is not the blog posting I had planned for today. It sort of came through my fingers and mind of its own volition. I intended to lay more foundation from H. Norman Wright's book, my "bible" in the journey of recovery, about emotional trauma.
However, today I think was a necessary step in realizing that if physical trauma from a naturally occurring random event like a tornado takes so long to recover from, how much more so should we allow for the victim of emotional trauma?
Until tomorrow ... when hopefully my fingers and mind decide to follow my planned path on the road to recovery.