Aftershocks

photo by Greg Lincoln

by Greg Lincoln

When an earthquake hits, it happens unexpectedly without any forewarning. It occurs without any regard to what you may be doing or feeling, and without any consideration to how you will react to it. It can be devastating, terrifying, and it will make you see and feel that how no matter what you try to do to stop it, you cannot.

All you can do is try to keep you and your loved ones safe until the rumbling and shaking stops.

When the massive 7.0 earthquake hit southcentral Alaska on Friday morning last week, Kelly and I were in Anchorage for the Mixed 6 and 2A state volleyball tournament. It is the first time we’ve ever experienced such a thing as this! It was an amazing incredible show of how powerful nature can be as it is moved by the finger of God.

When the shaking began, all we could do was watch and wait until it was over. The shaking and the noise were loud and hard and in the aftermath was chaos.

Roads were cracked, schools were damaged, businesses closed down, pipes burst, fires erupted, broken glass, events were cancelled, planes were told not to fly, the list goes on and on. Can you imagine that? We were not hurt and others are also okay including some of our students who were here also, and I thank the Lord.

I could not help but think how an earthquake parallels the devastating loss of a beloved and most important person in your life. There is the helpless feeling of not being able to do anything, the whole earth shakes and you are helplessly tossed around at its mercy while you try to hold on.

When things quiet down, there is chaos amidst the damage. Everything is damaged – your plans, your dreams, your hopes, all to fade away. Injuries can also occur during an earthquake, like how you are injured from the crushing blow of your loss.

And there is extreme pain and despair, panic sets in, your body reacting to agony.

Sometimes it is hard for others who have never experienced this kind of a loss to comprehend. May they never come into this understanding, it is better for them not to know. For to know would be to experience a trauma that you can never heal from. To know would be for them to join the millions of others who are suffering from the untimely bereavement from losing your own flesh and blood. It is our hope and wish that they never ever know the ultimate loss and that they live the rest of their days in peace.

There are other natural calamities that occur that can be paralleled to this kind of sad trauma, not just earthquakes.

Aftershocks are smaller tremors that occur after the big initial earthquake. After the 7.0 hit, we felt many smaller aftershocks, and they rattled our minds, making us think that it was another big one. The aftershocks continued deep into the night making it hard to sleep.

The same can be said when you are in the hours and days following a traumatic loss. Every little thing that happens afterwards is like an aftershock, giving you heart attacks, and anxiety and panic attacks. This is why it is so very essential to be around those who can help you. The pain of aftershocks can weaken you and leave you feeling fatigued and drained. That is when you need others the most. Prayers to those who have lost someone, let us all pray for them.

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