It is now a week since the disastrous earthquake in Haiti. Since then the descriptions and images coming from the beleaguered Caribbean country have been truly horrific.

In the last few days I have been visited by one particular set of images. They are of another me. A Haitian me. A wife, mother, daughter, sister and friend who has lost so much; loved ones, her home, pets, a livelihood, normality. I am struck by her almost overwhelming fear; fear of further quakes and aftershocks, fear of the aggression of others who are driven to the brink of insanity by the enormity of what has happened, fear of long nights full of foul stenches and total darkness. I am struck by her loss and her grief which has no expression as she struggles for her own survival and that of her children. And I am struck by her loss of hope. In ways that is the worst of all. A life without hope is a life without light.

And perhaps this is what we, here in the safety and security of the developed world, are called to do at this time. Perhaps our job now is to hold the light, hold the hope for our sisters and brothers in Haiti. We must stand firm while they struggle with despair and misery.

We are the carriers of the message that all is not lost. We must hold the vision of better days ahead for Haiti. As we feel their pain and bear witness to their suffering, through whatever means we choose, be it prayer, fundraising, moments of silent meditation, we hold the light.

We guard the hope of a bright, brand new day which is just beyond view. Just over the horizon.


“Now the music’s gone but they carry on

For their spirit’s been bruised, never broken

They will not forget but their hearts are set

on tomorrow and peace once again

For what’s done is done and what’s won is won

and what’s lost is lost and gone forever

I can only pray for a bright, brand new day

in the town I loved so well “

Phil Coulter

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Writing and Talking.... on the radio, on the telly and in the papers.

9 thoughts on “HOLDING ONTO HOPE”

  1. I think you have put into words what most of us are thinking and feeling at this moment only you have probably done it better. Well done!

  2. Well put Barbara. It is a time to be grateful for our blessings and to reach out in any way we can to those whose lives have been devastated. A bit of snow and freezing temps seem so trival now, don't they?

  3. Thank you all. I suppose it will be in the weeks and months to come when Haiti is no longer in the news that it will become even more important to hold the light and the hope! I appreciate the comments

  4. That's beautiful Barbara and so true. It's such a fluke that we are born where we are to the parents we have who can afford to look after us, in a country where natural disasters are few and far between. Like Ann says we get the cold and the flooding but that's it. There are so many agencies working for Haiti now, all we can do is support them, and like you say – hope.

  5. What an inspiring post Barbara. Your response to this tragedy pushes the boundaries of human empathy into a solidarity which seems to provoke action. It is action that that save lives. x.

  6. I love Phil Coulter's words.

    My in-laws are in the Dominican Republic, which they'd scheduled before the disaster. I'm wondering what stories they'll have to tell when they get back. Some of the horrors in Haiti must be felt there as well.

  7. Hello Theresa and thanks so much for stopping by and leaving a comment. And yes Phil Coulters words particularly of “The Town I Loved So Well” are just beautiful and are somehow appropriate. As you no doubt know, his song was originally written about his home town of Derry in Northern Ireland and describes the devastation of it and its people during the 'troubles'. And he was right too, a bright brand new day did arrive in Derry and the rest of Northern Ireland and with time I am sure we will be able to say the same about Haiti. Thanks again!!

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