Dear Liz,

While we were spared much damage from Dorian, I experienced a new frustration being without power here East of the Cooper for more than 48 hours. Compared to the Bahamas, I dare not complain, of course. But I did experience just how much we are very accustomed to the conveniences we have. Even to the point of being spoiled? Not so much the adults — but the kids. I sent mine out (preteens and teens) to help the neighbors pick up and clean up. They thought I was the meanest father known to mankind. What a wake up call. When they complained, I made sure they were hydrated and fed and then drove them to the next neighborhood who had even more limbs and some trees down. I did work alongside them part of the time—chainsaw. They whined, complained, told me that their friends were getting to meet to hang out and why couldn’t they. My wife was even concerned I was too hard on them. But then she saw the total good of my “evil” plan. They took cold showers and slept like logs. They started getting along with each other having conversations face to face. And our daughter had bonded with an elderly neighbor whose husband had recently passed. She went back to play cards with her and keep her company. I just had to share this because I think we experienced a miracle in our household. We plan for that value to continue.

Serving others works

Dear “Serving others works,”

Yes it does in so many ways. Thank you for standing your ground, and doing the tough part of parenting. We will all benefit from your courage and wisdom now and as they grow and become our leaders of the future. Bravo!

Dear Liz,

I’m worried. My family and friends are complaining. They are mad there was this huge hype and build-up to Dorian — a lot of inconvenience — and hearing many say it was “nothing.” And next time they definitely won’t evacuate ever. I was here for Hugo and know how bad it can be before during and after a storm. Is there anything I can say?

Prepared

Dear “Prepared,”

Grand Bahama Island. And the reality that almost any category storm coming in South of us (Savannah, Beaufort, Edisto) could be catastrophic. I’m with you as I always say, “don’t be scared, be prepared.” Stay informed and make wise decisions you can live with and stay alive with for the long haul. Thank you for your question.

Dear Liz,

Our neighbors are retired from New York City. They lost family, friends and colleagues during 9/11 and find each anniversary still difficult. Do you have suggestions for what would be most helpful at this time?

Remembering

Dear “Remembering,”

It is very empathic for you to want to do or say helpful things to support your still grieving neighbors. The worse thing is to judge others for how long they grieve whether you say something or not. The world changed that day and so many had traumatic loss and now so many first responders are getting sick and dying from the exposure to the toxins. The best thing is to let them know you are thinking about/praying for them. You can offer dinner or ask what might be most helpful to them. Bless you!!”

Contact Liz via asklizchs@outlook.com. Liz Brisacher Sharp is a Master degree level Licensed Professional Counselor in private practice with 35 years experience in mental health.