Sunday, November 27, 2005

The Survivors of BP

We've written so often about the March 23 explosion at BP Amoco's Texas City refinery that the numbers 15 and 170 -- killed and injured -- are seared in my brain.

One tends to dwell on the deaths, and think of the injured as the "lucky ones." In a sense, they were, but as the Houston Chronicle reports, many "remain nonetheless trapped by physical and emotional debris that may never be lifted."
Some lost limbs or the ability to have children or the chance of ever walking normally again.

Some were severely burned on the outside of their bodies, others literally on the inside.

Some have years, if not lifetimes, of physical therapy ahead.

Some can't sleep, remain deeply depressed or need medication to function normally.

Some blame BP for their injuries. Some don't. Many are just trying to move on.

"You can't keep looking at all the bad," said Alisa Dean, 32, who not only lost her father in the blast but also suffered severe burns and other injuries that kept her hospitalized for four months. "Because all you are going to do is be depressed."
And then there are those who are entering their first holiday season without the loved ones that they said goodbye to on the morning of March 23.

Linda Hunnings is spending her first anniversary in 30 years without her husband Jim, who was killed in the explosion:
“He was a wonderful man,” she said. “He is really going to be missed during the holidays.

“It is not easy going each day without him — it really isn’t. Jim Hunnings was a blessing. A godsend. He was everything that was good.”

For Linda, this holiday season is another in a series of steps she knows she has to take to get by. She admits she is at times angry.

“I hurt,” she said. “I hurt a lot. It is really, really painful. There is a big void in my life.

“There are times when I get angry. I get angry with BP, angry with God, angry with Jim. I guess that’s all a part of the process you have to go through.

More BP explosion stories here.