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I Feel Like My Heart Is Breaking…

Thursday, May 15, 2008
Posted in: China Earthquake

I came across these photographs of the earthquake in Sichuan on Monica’s blog. I cried for a long time after seeing the pain and suffering that the people of China are enduring right now.

Somehow, I think I actually forgot that children would be amongst the casualties. How could I forget that babies and small children would also be amongst the dead? How could I?

The images are graphic and heart-wrenching, but I think they should be seen, so I wont be hiding them under a cut.

I thought I was adequately sympathetic to these people’s plight. I was wrong. The photographs are stark, but they serve to demonstrate the levels of real human suffering going on in a not-too-distant part of our planet right now.

The tapestry of these people’s lives are changed forever. And the loss and the devastation will be like a scar on their souls. If there’s such a thing as a god, why would he let this happen to his people?

I have to do something now. I have to help. I want to help.

Updated to add:

Here are a couple of links kindly provided by Laura Vivanco for anybody who wants to make a charitable donation:

UK Red Cross’ China Earthquake Appeal.

The US Red Cross is also collecting donations.

Oxfam UK’s also got a China Earthquake Appeal.


  • Ebony
    May 16
    12:02 am

    My heart hurts too to see these images. It is so sad. You can’t help but have compassion. I pray they still are able to rescue people alive.


  • JLFerg
    May 16
    12:49 am

    It is incredibly difficult to look at the pictures that are coming out of China. My heart just breaks when I remember the one child policy and that some of these parents are burying their only child. The stories on some of the news programs have been just heart… wrenching isn’t a strong enough word.

    Hopefully, there will be news soon on what we can do to help those who need it the most.


  • Those pictures are devastating. Their pain must be even more so.


  • That’s a question I imagine a lot of people are asking. I don’t ask if-because I do believe in Him. But I do ask why.

    I can’t understand this. I can’t wrap my mind around it.

    PBW has some links on her blog for charities that are trying to help those in China-one was called HALF THE SKY and they are setting up a Children’s Earthquake Fund.

    They’re setting up a Children’s Earthquake Fund that will provide “emergency shelter, food, and medical care for children orphaned or separated from their families.”

    Half the Sky looks like a phenomenal charity.

    Part of me wishes I hadn’t looked at those pictures, but it really does drive home what’s happened-it’s something we all need.


  • Thank you for the information about Half the Sky, Shiloh! I was looking for a place to help. I read about the one-child policy and that these people are burying their only child on CNN the other night.

    As an only child…my heart breaks. I cannot imagine…it just hurts.


  • Karen, I don’t know nor understand why these things happen. I only know that people go on–because there’s no other choice.

    For people like me, those pictures bring back horrible memories. Over twenty years ago, something very similar happened in Mexico City. September 19, 1985. Most people of my generation will never forget that day, no matter how young, no matter where they were, no matter what they were doing.

    I was lucky enough not to lose anyone close, but I knew several people who lost all their families. A friend, who was buried for three days, lost all her fingers and everything she owned. My sister, who is an elementary school teacher, was walking to work during the earthquake, and arrived to find the school transformed literally into a pile of rubble. My then husband had to walk I don’t know how many miles from his office–surrounded by fallen buildings–to my mother’s house, in search of a working telephone.

    The official numbers will never convey the reality of the devastation.

    The scars remain, and the city changes forever–not the landscape but the spirit of it.

    People endure it.


  • OMG, I feel like words are so useless when I look at pictures like those. Nothing I say will do anything to help those people, to ease even a single person’s suffering. I wish there was something…

    It makes no sense. None. It’s just awful. Tragic.


  • Heartbreaking. That’s all I can really say.


  • I tried but I just can’t look at the pix, because I can too easily picture my children in their places, too easily imagine the horror and grief of that mother… It’s too much.

    Yesterday, here in Kentucky, we marked the 20th anniversary of the deadliest drunk-driving crash in US history, when more than 20 people — mostly kids — were killed when their church bus was hit head-on by a drunk driver going the wrong way on an interstate. I was reading an article about it in the paper, about how the bus was engulfed in flames and how witnesses said they could hear a little girl crying “Mommy, help me!” from inside. I couldn’t read anymore. It broke my heart and made my soul hurt.

    When my husband picked me up from work yesterday, National Public Radio was playing a story about the Chinese earthquake, describing a young woman and her husband who were looking for their parents and their son, who was “two months shy of his second birthday,” lost somewhere in the rubble. My husband turned off the radio and I could tell the story had upset him, made him think — as it had me — of our son, who is 3. About how we would feel if it was us, our son, our parents, oursekves in that situation. That’s the closest I’ve seen my husband come to tears since his father died.

    We talked about it, and about the newspaper article about the bus crash, too, because he’d read it as well, and like me, had only made it to that horrific, heartbreaking part about the little girl crying for her mommy.

    I just can’t fathom. I just can’t bear to fathom.


  • Capo
    May 16
    4:57 am

    These are very disturbing, but makes you grateful for all the precious moments in life, doesn’t it?


  • There really aren’t any words that capture just how awful this situation is. Azteclady is right in that people endure, but it’s hard to imagine how they do it after looking at these photos and seeing all of that pain and loss.


  • Karen, the UK Red Cross has started a China Earthquake Appeal. The US Red Cross is also collecting donations.

    Oxfam UK’s also got a China Earthquake Appeal.


  • Jade James
    May 16
    12:24 pm

    I cried this morning, just seeing those babies, and their parents. That is one of the saddest things I’ve ever seen, and I pray everyday that the Lord watches over my two little ones.


  • Yesterday, here in Kentucky, we marked the 20th anniversary of the deadliest drunk-driving crash in US history, when more than 20 people — mostly kids — were killed when their church bus was hit head-on by a drunk driver going the wrong way on an interstate.

    Every time I pass by that marker on the interstate, I have to stop and say a prayer. I didn’t know anyone on that bus, but I was twelve when it happened, and I remember very well the way my mother looked at me when the breaking news about the crash came on television. Now that I have kids of my own, I understand.

    I can’t begin to imagine what is happening there in China. In Myanmar, too. It is too big, too deep, to begin to comprehend.


  • Seeing these pictures shows me how blessed we are. We experienced an earthquake here in St. Louis last month. I woke up at 4 in the morning to my house shaking. I thank God that was all we experienced. I can’t imagine digging my child out of rubble. I pray these people find comfort because right now I know they don’t feel that. Its so sad.


  • EC Sheedy
    May 18
    7:08 am

    I donated through http://www.halfthesky.org/ because they were recommended to me by a Chinese person knowledgeable about their work with orphanages. Since I donated they’ve sent me updates on what is needed, where the worst problems are, and istings of the local institutions they are working with. They are very focused.

    The pictures of the children? They break my heart and I have to look away . . . Truly, there are no words for this kind of tragedy.


  • Lori
    May 22
    7:59 pm

    Hi Karen,

    Coming way late, but just getting caught up on reading posts. This is a terribly tragic situation. I work with a guy who has family living less than 100 km away from the epicenter. First thing the next morning, I IM’d him. Thankfully they were all accounted for, but it sure was scary.

    Living in So Cal, we become desensitized to earthquakes, and it takes one of such great magnitude to open our eyes and remember “There, but for the grace of G-d, go I.”

    Thanks for posting the links to locations where folks can go to help.


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