The weather can be frightening. The hurricane was (and is) scary. The amount of damage that nature can make is scary and intense and overwhelming. I so feel for my friends and family that have been caught in the Sandy crossfire. (Including my cousin in the Boston area, who posted some very frightening video footage this week). I work closely every day with a number of New Yorkers, and since I haven't lived through that kind of devastation, I can literally only imagine the horror.
I was surprised to hear and see (on Facebook, mostly) a number of off-color jokes and comments. ("Well that's one way to get the Jersey Shore show cancelled" or other comments about "what will they do without cold Diet Coke" or Facebook access). It just rubs me the wrong way. It comes off to me as... too soon. Callous. Insensitive.
And while I understand that humor is one way to diffuse a scary time, and there's that old saying about "sometimes all you can do is laugh or else you'll start to cry" but to me, it's just inappropriate.
I don't know what to do, or say, or how to help. It's hard to know what to do from one thousand miles away. But I know that I don't like that response, and I want mine to be different. Kinder. There is a blood drive in my building this week and while I suspect that it was pre-organized and doesn't have anything to do with the Hurricane, I think I will face a silly internal fear and give blood (for the first time) because it's a good thing to do. And I'll make a donation to a hurricane relief fund and I'll say a prayer for the 55 who lost their lives and the eight million (including my sister-in-law and several good friends) who are still without power.