It is not commonly thought of but what we have in our possession, what we save, what we build, I believe does define our selves to some degree and the loss of those things can bring on a severe loss of self and identity. Although I am not an expert, however, I have learned some things about memory and sense of self over the years and this is what I believe. I think that loosing your home in a storm is as if each home was lost in a fire and loosing everything. Many did loose their homes to fire in this storm.
I have asked myself, how do these people go on? How do they pick up the pieces where there are none and try to maintain some sort of normalcy and sanity? Loosing family photos is a identity changer for some because it tells them who and where they have been and who and where they are. It is a common effect that loosing memories erodes our sense of self because memories help keep our sense of self together by linking events and experiences like a spider spins a web. I know my world and memories have been effected. and life will be different in my home town.
I grew up since I was 7 years old in Toms River and I lived 5 minutes from Seaside Heights which was slammed by Sandy. Needless to say, I am so saddened to know my childhood years and memories will never be the same. All my memories of the boardwalk have fallen into the ocean and the town no longer looks like I remember. For a year after graduating from high school, I lived in an apartment with a friend, one block from the beach and boardwalk. My entire childhood was defined by the Jersey Shore and the 'beach'. Those were the days. I have vivid memories of riding on the amusement rides with my friend Mary and revealing and sharing our deepest darkest secrets on those rides and also while walking the boardwalk. We were tan as can be and bathing suits were standard attire for us. Some days we would go to the beach all day, go home to shower and back at the beach and boardwalk we would go for the evening. I remember OP clothing and wicker and velvet flip flops. I remember the long lines of cars down route 37 waiting to get over to the beach. I can remember the sand in our bathing suits and the smell of the salt water in the air. I remember.
I have been carrying a line of pendants in my Dabbling Delights etsy shop that were created from my memories of the Jersey Shore. They are fittingly calIed a block from the beach. I have put some below and you can also check them out in my shop.
For all those who have lost everything or something, I will pray for you. My heart is heavy for all the folks who are struggling to make sense of this event. I know I am and I was not in the path of the storm. God bless ..