3rd party, residual feelings

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User Info: Kylo Force

Kylo Force
2 months ago#1
I've been feeling weird about this since something happened a few days ago, so I'm thinking that by posting about it here I can get my head around it a bit better.

This past weekend, a 6.5 magnitude earthquake hit Lumbok in Indonesia. A very good friend of mine, who is like a brother to me, was in that very place when it struck. He is a gifted writer, and wrote on Facebook to primarily let people know he was okay, but also inadvertently (?) deliver one of the most clear descriptions of a traumatic, near death experience I have ever read in my life. In his words, he saw the ground and platform come out from underneath where people just in front of where he was standing collapse, boulders falling down, and the guides that were accompanying that group he was in to "don't die, don't die!" and physically having to be pulled by one of them to keep moving because he was frozen in shock from being surrounded by trapped people calling out for help.

He explicitly said he was writing things out as a way to help him process everything and then directly asked everyone he knows to give him some words of support to help him through this (and I can't blame him at all, holy crap this must be so traumatic I can't even begin to process it.) And he said he's since found peace in knowing that several hundred people who were previously trapped or stranded have since been evacuated off the mountain.

My head keeps jumping back to imagining this situation, probably because he described it so well and I can just picture in my head what it could have been like, and then I think of the image of my friend trying to grasp at what he'd just experienced. Like, I'm not wishing anything like this on anyone, but I keep flashing back to this thing in what feels like such a vivid way and it didn't even happen to me.

I think a lot of this is really just born out of concern for my friend (who is coming home next Friday and has requested a big gathering with his friends when he gets back, which we're doing) but for whatever reason, there's this 3rd party, residual feeling about the whole thing that has sort of got me in ways very few other things have before.

That's all, I guess.
"Sa taong walang takot, walang mataas na bakod."
"To those without fear, there is no such thing as a tall fence." - Filipino Proverb

User Info: ShadowSpy

ShadowSpy
2 months ago#2
Wow, sounds like it must have been a traumatic experience for him. I'm glad he survived and hope he's not experiencing too much survivor's guilt. And it makes sense that you're having feelings about this too--since that seems to be the sign of healthy empathy.
"I always wanted to be somebody, but now I realize I should have been more specific."

User Info: BUM

BUM
2 months ago#3
Seeing so much of the reality of the end of life is hard on anyone, but it can be a very great blessing as well. Probably his sense of the value of life will be much greater, because he has seen something fundamentally human, namely, death.

In a certain sense, I think a person is not fully human unless they have a strong grasp on the reality of death. "Memento mori." Although this comparison is jarring, let us say it is like holding a baby. A man who never holds a baby, or does so with the greatest unwillingness, is missing some fundamental part of his humanness. He cannot develop to what he is meant to be.

In the case of holding a baby we develop, because we are participating in something that is just by its nature good-- failing to embrace good is perverse. In the case of witnessing death, not because it is by its nature good, but because it helps us to order our lives better-- failing to order our lives just leaves us disorderly, light-minded, and oblivious to the reality of life.

Be gentle with your friend but natural also. I suppose if the subject comes up, don't try to say anything unnatural. A simple "I'm so sorry for what happened," is sufficient, I think-- but you'll know best.

As for your own self... yes... it is interesting how these types of things create an impact in us, or almost a sense of longing. I remember this while reading Frankl's Man's Search for Meaning, the founder of logotherapy's personal mementos of life in the concentration camps, mingled with his psychological thought (which I think is good stuff).

I don't have really any insight into why this happens or what to do with it. Well, with all things, make use of it how you can, but in proper proportion: getting all morbid about it would be deleterious to your health and would waste the good of the message. Using it to order your own life is good.

"Homo sum, humani nihil a me alienum puto" said Terence. "I am a man. I reckon nothing of humanity foreign to me." This is a healthy attitude for growth as human beings!
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User Info: Kylo Force

Kylo Force
2 months ago#4
So, the exact same area was hit with another 7.0 earthquake again today. Friend is still okay as far as we know.

Seriously can't wait to have him home on Friday.
"Sa taong walang takot, walang mataas na bakod."
"To those without fear, there is no such thing as a tall fence." - Filipino Proverb

User Info: BUM

BUM
2 months ago#5
Wow. That's about the only word I know for it. Those poor people.
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User Info: Kylo Force

Kylo Force
2 months ago#6
Another aftershock today, 6.2.

Just really want him home.
"Sa taong walang takot, walang mataas na bakod."
"To those without fear, there is no such thing as a tall fence." - Filipino Proverb

User Info: ShadowSpy

ShadowSpy
2 months ago#7
When is he planning on returning? Hope it happens soon.
"I always wanted to be somebody, but now I realize I should have been more specific."

User Info: Kylo Force

Kylo Force
2 months ago#8
He came home this past Friday and we threw him that party as he requested. Tried to find the Indonesian beer that he likes but it's not easily available here.

He said that one of the moments that he noticed was, while a lot of the tourists that were around him were panicking because they'd never experienced a major natural disaster, he said the thing that stood out to him the most was this local Indonesian kid who couldn't have been older than 12 or 13 riding his bike up and down the streets telling people, "No worries, no worries, don't panic, don't panic, it's okay, it's okay."

He said it put into perspective for him that people who live there locally are used to earthquakes (though maybe not the major ones that hit them on a row), and that the people that live there actually live there and that life goes on. The locals know the best- if they were panicking, then maybe it would be time to panic. But if they all thought it would be okay, then it would probably be okay.
"Sa taong walang takot, walang mataas na bakod."
"To those without fear, there is no such thing as a tall fence." - Filipino Proverb
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