What’s Happening Wednesday: Survivors Guilt

News of the Surfside building collapse has dominated headlines for nearly two weeks. More than 100 people are still unaccounted for and funerals are being held for the victims who have been identified.

There are likely no more survivors. The building has been demolished, and now a hurricane is soon to make landfall nearby. It’s no longer a rescue effort, but a recovery mission.

I have heard people crying over lost pets and possessions. I have seen survivors living with the guilt of not being able to save others, even though they barely escaped with their own lives. They keep reliving the tragedy and wondering what they might have done differently, not realizing that the decisions they did make, likely saved their own lives.

Some people are wired that way. They agonize over the what-ifs. They wonder what might have happened had they made different decisions. The problem though, is that we tend to romanticize the probable outcomes. We think we could have done more. We think we could have saved so many, but in reality, we could have put ourselves in grave danger.

We cannot go back in time. We can only move forward. I am praying for the victims of this tragedy. I am praying for those who survived, and for the families of those who succumbed to their injuries. I am praying for all who keep reliving their trauma. I pray that as we move forward, that the focus is not on what we could have done differently the last time, but on what we might do now to enjoy the moments we have in front of us.

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