It takes a spot of courage to stand up tall and a bit of derring-do to rise when you fall

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

A Stunning Reversal

There's something so terrible about reading the headlines of the papers this morning that shout "Miners Found Alive!"---referring to the West Virginia mining accident where an explosion underground put 13 miners' lives at risk---when, in a stunning reversal of news that came across the internet around 3:00 this morning, it was discovered that actually 12 of the 13 miners had died.

I can't imagine the devastation that would have followed such news. First was the awful announcement of a mining accident. I'm sure that families and friends of miners live with the awful fear of such an occurrence. How awful must it be to know your loved one---father, brother, husband, son---is trapped hundreds of feet in the bowels of the earth, in darkness, possibly dying? A terrible thing to imagine.

And then the painful waiting. Waiting for news, for any word. In this case, over 40 long hours of anxious waiting. Then came word that 12 of the miners were alive! Instant jubilation! Emotions, tears, cheers, disbelief! A miracle!

But reports say that word given was that 12 miners were found. Period. Nothing said about them being found alive. Now, whether that's true---who knows. Communication had been going back and forth via cell phones. And hope springs eternal. Lots of factors that could have jumbled the message. And a crushing blow when, three hours later, the shocking news that instead of celebrating, mourning was in order.

Children would have been told that their fathers were alive. Parents would have heard that their sons had made it. Wives would have been waiting to embrace their husbands and care for them, wrap them in their love. How can a heart survive the kind of blow dealt when discovery is made several hours later that everything is upside down? I can't comprehend it.

And I also wonder about the lone survivor, still in critical condition. There's a weight, a guilt, that accompanies such a survivor and his family. The burden of being the one who made it, the one who was spared. Life is so complicated---joy and sorrow mixed in the very same experience.

Does a heart ever heal?


Blogger No_Newz said...

I have no idea how they can recover from that kind of a blow. My heart goes out to every one of them. The only guy left is certain to feel survivor guilt, which of course we know he shouldn't. I think it's inevitable. So sad.
Lois Lane

10:18 AM, January 04, 2006

Blogger bryan torre said...

I have resolved not to think about unpleasant or difficult things, so luckily this doesn't affect me...

11:22 AM, January 04, 2006

Anonymous si said...

i had watched the news coverage last night of the "miraculous recovery" of the men. it was amazing and the whole town was so joyful. it broke my heart to hear this morning that this was not the case. i've wondered how this could have been so misconstrued. i cannot imagine the roller-coaster of emotions that the families must have felt/be feeling.

12:17 PM, January 04, 2006

Blogger prrrof said...

This is how out of it I've been today: you're serving as my news source at 3:55 pm EST. (Yes, I've had all media off as I doggedly plowed through things).

Egads. How awful.

Off to read about it now.

12:59 PM, January 04, 2006

Blogger Meow said...

I was horrified when I read in the paper about this tragedy. How do you go from being 12 safe, one gone, to 12 dead and only one safe. How must those 12 families be feeling ... it is incomprehensible to me. First the elation that 12 were safe, then the devastation. What a disaster.

1:21 AM, January 08, 2006


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