Saturday, June 27, 2009

Rescue to Recovery to . . . What?

An update to a story the Quarterback first took a look at a couple of weeks ago. Officials have called off the operation to recover the remains of people who were aboard Air France Flight 447 when it went down off the coast of Brazil on June 1st. In the two weeks since we first looked at this search, only 7 additional bodies have been found, including the pilot and a flight attendant, bringing the total to just 51 of the 228 people aboard. Officials say it is unlikely that any more would be discovered.

As the Quarterback discussed in the June 14 post, it's hard to process trauma until it's over. For the families of those on this flight, this journey started out on June 1 with notice that the plane was missing and feared down and the beginning of a search and rescue operation, to the beginning of the recovery effort, to now the notification that for most of them, there will be no recovery of their loved one's body.

It's easy for us to say that everyone knows no one survived that crash. And yes, the thinking part of these families' minds knows their loved ones are dead. But the feeling part, the part that isn't rational, can hold out hope. And as long as it does, it's hard to process what has happened and find a place for it in the "new normal" of life.

In just the two weeks since I first blogged about this, the Quarterback has noticed a lot of media attention given to situations where people fake their deaths. Just last night I watched a re-run of a CSI Miami from 2005 in which Raymond Caine turns up after having supposedly been dead and then fakes his death again. This phenomenon can't be that common in real life. But when someone you love dies and their body never comes home, it has to cross your mind, and that can't be easy.


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Naomi Zikmund-Fisher
is a clinical social worker, former school Principal and a Crisis Consultant for schools and community organizations. You can learn more about her at
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