I Can’t Imagine What You’re Going Through!

Two weeks ago almost to this moment, the lives of me and many of my friends changed forever. Today, I kept recalling a statement that I’ve heard in almost every situation like the one me and my friends just went through. “I can’t imagine what you’re going through!” Today, I kept thinking, “That’s right! You can’t imagine it!” Because two weeks ago today I couldn’t imagine it either! 

Now I have a totally new relationship with fire. Sure, I’ve seen firestorms before, on television, in newspapers. I’ve even known people who lost everything. But I’ve never had it breathing its hot breath down my back before. Sure, I’ve tried to imagine what it would be like to lose everything when I saw it on TV or read it in a newspaper. But there’s that phrase again. “I can’t imagine what you’re going through!” And I couldn’t then. But now I don’t have to imagine. Even though my house is still standing, I went through the process in a way that was so real it cannot be called imagination. 

I have lost many things that are just as important and just as devastating as losing my house and all my material belongings. I lost the peace of mind that came with my routine of walking in the forest everyday, breathing in the fresh air, recognizing the wildlife, hearing the birds singing, the familiarity of the constant dependable relationship with nature. Yes! Yes! Yes! I know! It will come back in the spring. It will be renewed by the winter rains! This is a natural part of the cycle of life. But so is grieving loss! So is the struggle to keep one’s footing when everything familiar and everything nurturing has suddenly been ripped out from under you! 

Zoe's Table

I will cry, I will have bad dreams, I will grieve! I am a survivor. But this I know from my life experience. I have survived because I do not hold back what is there naturally. I don’t need to pretend I’m all together when I’m hurting and I’m sad. That is as natural as the rains coming to nurture new growth among the ashes. Perhaps my tears are like the rain! 

Discovering Zoe's Table After the Fire


Views: 433

Comment by Jonathan Wolfman on October 23, 2017 at 2:05am

I am very pleased you write abt this.

Comment by Arthur James on October 23, 2017 at 4:00am

` me too...

I watched Firefighters for five

hours hop on my roof with 

axes and saw-saws to cut

out burning roof beams,

Flying Squirrels lived in

the attic and chewed

electric wires, I was


Goodman , Goldman

and Gould represented

mme with my Home

Insurance. Mementos?

Memory... Mennonites 

built me a better one.

I built my Home in

1978. I get Happy


Comment by koshersalaami on October 23, 2017 at 4:05am

I can't imagine it

Your Zoe's Table link doesn't work

Comment by Arthur James on October 23, 2017 at 4:12am


Kosh is right...

Then, my Front Page went blank






Comment by Safe Bet's Amy on October 23, 2017 at 6:01am

Zoe's Table...

Comment by koshersalaami on October 23, 2017 at 7:06am

Thanks Amy

Comment by Robert Starkey on October 23, 2017 at 8:04am

Aware this morning, of something common to people who have survived traumatic disasters. The rest of the world moves on to the next thing while we are left in the midst of the aftermath. Just because the fires are almost out, doesn't mean everything is back to normal. This is when we need each other more than ever before! As I watched the firefighters travel down highway 12 yesterday, in a caravan, I put my hands together in prayer position and bowed my head. I was moved when I realized that they were as grateful for my gesture as I was for their service. But another part of me was sad they were leaving because I felt vulnerable, like a child waving good-bye to parents.

Comment by Robert Starkey on October 23, 2017 at 8:04am

Thanks Amy!

Comment by Anna Herrington on October 23, 2017 at 8:16am

Love the printed rock:  "I believe in miracles! They are called firefighters."

Having lived out west for over twenty five years total now, the relationship with fire - and water - and watersheds - becomes something else entirely than living back east. To experience a fire racing for you, yet *another* world entirely.

SO glad you and yours are alive and safe and so is your immediate home - and good to cry tears right into the scorched soil that is also home and changed forever. There will always be the before and after stories for your whole region forevermore, now.

So what if things green out in Spring, that's the future and it would be wrong to skip over the seasons to renewal when right now it's Autumn and ashes. Good food for the future but the present is grief. And I love that you know your self and the way it goes with humans. Grieve, cry, when it's time - ignoring it, suppressing it doesn't help at all, it only makes it worse.

I know I would feel tempted to mingle tears and ash and scorched earth on my face and do a grieving dance or something.... when I thought absolutely no one would be around... or only the 'safe' friends who'd join in   : )

A big hug to you and yours today ~

Comment by Anna Herrington on October 23, 2017 at 8:19am

Missed your comment while writing mine.... so true, the world moves on so fast. Recovery takes longer.


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