Anticipatory Grief and Y2K : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

As a GI and fairly well prepared (for 1 year), I find myself with free-floating anxiety and suffering from anticipatory grief over the realization of the vulnerability of so much of the world's population; especially those innocent and ignorant because of lack of reliable information.

I sponsor six kids who live in poverty, three in India, two in Guatamala and one in Africa and plan to send some money for Y2k preparation yet I know it is too little and two late because their countries are not ready. I care and I feel helpless.

I've appreciated the help of this forum in getting myself prepared. I've tried to help neighbors prepare by sharing the Red Cross recommendations only to be rebuffed by those who DWGI.

Is anyone else here struggling with anticipatory grief over the grim outlook of Y2k on so many innocents? How do you cope?

-- leslie (*** @***.com), April 05, 1999


I sure can appreciate your feelings. I GI a little late and am now scrambling to get the word out to as many friends, family, associates as possible. I've been handing books and literature to everybody I come in contact with and built a non-profit website about Y2K and advertise it locally. It still doesn't seem like enough! I guess the only way to deal with it is to do everything you can do and then realize that ultimately each person has to sleep in the bed he/she makes. People don't like change. Some people just don't want to know. A disruption of their peaceful, myopic lives is not something they want to comprehend. I feel sorry for them. But I can't change them.

"Change the things you can...Accept the things you can't"

It's a tough pill to swallow. Find your peace in the person that you have helped.

-- WebRNot (, April 05, 1999.

You are now at a place where a lot of us have been for a long time.

You can't save the world. Face it. Do what you normally do, plus, prepare for Y2K. That is all that is humanly possible from any of us. If you can perhaps hand out Y2K info or add an extra 20 dollars to a deserving be it. That is what you should be doing. Y2K or not.

Jesus lives,
Mr. K

-- Mr. Kennedy (, April 05, 1999.

Pre-grieving can be very useful. Kubler-Ross, "On Death and Dying" is a classic on what to expect and what benefits are derived.

Comments, Leska?

-- Tricia the Canuck (, April 05, 1999.


I feel your pain - but if it's any consolation those kids you are sponsoring may be in the best place for them - away from technology with at least some semblance of support already in place for them. I fear the suffering will be far far worse in the developed countries who, if things go Infomagic, won't know what hit them.

i think the long term GI's who believe things will be bad have already got passed the stage you're going through - time helps, however the sinking feeling in the stomach still hits me from time to time.

No easy answer leslie.

-- Andy (, April 05, 1999.

For free-floating anxiety, I do a meditation using breath and sound.

For anticipatory grief, a face-to-face meeting people with who already have a sense of systemic failure consequence and are working toward community preparedness is helpful.


-- Critt Jarvis (, April 05, 1999.

Yes, both myself and my teenage daughter (13, but who is far too aware of the situation and possible consequences), sometimes have late night conversations on this subject.

If things go to a severe depression or worse, I'm reminded of Andy's line of "Dead Men Walking". Nothing we can do. We can't save all of the baby birds born this year. We can't stop cycles of population growth and contraction, which our current situation is a part of.

That sounds so clean, doesn't it? Population "contraction" It means hunger and disease and death in all of its ugly forms. I have no answer. I only know I must place me and mine first in my plans, then try to allow for others if I can.

-- Jon Williamson (, April 05, 1999.

I still stay up at night, worrying about all the people who will be harmed by y2k. I feel that they will suffer greatly, and i want to help them. I have prepared as best I can for Y2K, and I feel I should help others to prepare as well, yet I know most of them will do nothing. It pains me to consider their futures.

-- Crono (, April 05, 1999.

Leslie, I've been through the same frustration with friends and family. Won't waste any more time or effort on them. In self-defense, I now think of the whole thing as a cleansing of the gene pool. Brutal, maybe...but most of them have had sufficient opportunity to learn about the potential disruptions of y2k, and have not done so. Reminds me of some of Aesop's fables....

-- Norm Harrold (, April 05, 1999.

Leslie, If you are a spiritual person, read your scriptures, pray and remember: You and others are NOT your physical bodies. We can do what we can to prepare for possible disasters, then have faith that God will preserve us if that is His will. I figure if I and my family get vaporised, that is not the end of everything, and that is not the worst possible outcome, since we will be with Him. For the non-spiritual, I have no answer. But yes, I am trying to get ready to suffer great losses, least of all my creature comforts that I enjoy, like a soft cozy bed, and a hot bath anytime I want..... I am more thankful for each little blessing in my life, and appreciate everything more.

-- lynn (, April 05, 1999.

Look, it's easy, guys.

Just tell yourself that all the pollyannas are right & nothing is going to happen. Bump in the road. Milne's wrong. We're all hysterical idiots to believe in this y2k crap. Hey, I've been wrong about things before, & I'm wrong again now; my face will be real red. Sure, some computers will mess up, but that happens every day. We'll still have electricity, & food will still be available. Millions will NOT die. It's all hype.

Now, wasn't that easy...?

-- denial is (notjust@a.river), April 05, 1999.

Leslie, I don't know which agency or agencies you sponsor through, but very few agencies actually give any sponsor-support directly to the child or their family. Sometimes the money is used to help everyone in the area and the sponsored child is just a "representative" name and photo for you to write to. Often there is a great deal of corruption on top of legitimate administrative fees. Unless you have visited your children yourself or personally know and trust someone in the agency IN THE CHILD'S COUNTRY (knowing someone at this end is useless), then you can't have any reasonable assurance that your aid gets to those children in any significant way. For example, United Church of Christ, Philippines has $30 monthly sponsorships while the children only get P100 a month, which is $2.50 The agency provides no significant aid to the children and it's "children's homeless shelter" has no children in it and is instead used as a for-profit boarding house. Despite what some think of politicians and business people in this country, compared to most authorities in developing countries our authorities are saints. Which is why foreign aid is so ineffectual. I don't know what to recommend for helping your children. I have the same dilemma myself. I'm fortunate enough to have found a trustworthy agency that I have 3 years on-site experience with. Just be sure of where your dollars actually go and what they are used for once they get there. You can't possibly be too cynical on this.

-- Steve Hartzler (, April 05, 1999.

I watched an expose on TV about sponsoring children and it is all a big scam! The children are lucky if they get 10% of the money you donate. The rest goes to the people who run the scam.

-- smitty (, April 05, 1999.

Lynn, such a beautiful post! Thanks for the reminder.

-- Bingo1 (, April 05, 1999.

My personal Y2K anticipatory grief story is that April of 1998, I connected the dots that I had seen one dot at a time and started preparing in earnest. At almost the same time my 12-year old nephew was struck by a car on the road in front of his house, and killed. So our family has been handling a ton of grief on many levels in the year since. I'm trying my best to stay in 'action mode'. I can tell though that there is a part of me that is in deep grief over the world, (not new to me, an angst-ridden poet and utopian), and over the death of Billy. A part of me is deeply cynical about just about everything, angry, and alternately wanting to curl up. Thankfully, this part of me stays back and is mostly background noise, except for those quiet moments at night, or when I read something especially assinine on the Internet.

What am I doing about it. Making myself move, and reminding myself that the so-called world has always been rather tentatively balanced and fragile. Reminding me, that I can create pockets of sanity for myself.

Hang in there. As my baby sister often says, (she's the mother of Billy), "Grab a helmet, honey, and strap in!"

-She who lives, a free being in a flapping sheet, upon the hill.

-- Donna Barthuley (, April 06, 1999.


Andy is right - should y2k end up being a 6 or higher among the first world countries the kids you're sponsoring in third world countries are actually far better off than those yuppie kids you saw on their way to school this morning. Not only are they less dependent on technology already, but their parents and grandparents still have the skills and experience neccessary to survive *without* technological assistance - a lifestyle about which almost none of the parents of those yuppie kids has even a clue.


-- Arlin H. Adams (, April 06, 1999.

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