Is It Really Just Stuff?

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Recently, my hometown of Calgary went through a devastating flood.  The images and videos have been truly amazing.  While some parts of the city have been untouched (like my area), others look like a war-zone.  I have been truly speechless watching the TV coverage, listening to the radio coverage…a true crisis for many, many people.

Alberta Flood 2013

Just after the flood hit, I saw this post on Facebook that stated the following:

Today is a disaster for so many in Calgary – and Southern Alberta – and parts of BC – and elsewhere. Damn.

Fortunately – no loss of life reported. The rest is “just stuff” – which is going to be hard on many – but there is little doubt the people and communities will come together to help those with out insurance or support.

In the meantime – its a time for patience / tolerance / support / understanding / friendship.

(*comment taken directly from Facebook post*)

The statement above, “…just stuff…” is what caught my attention.  I know I’ve used that statement in the past so I’m not surprised it caught my attention.  While many people have lost their entire homes, I thought it was pretty gutsy to make a statement like that during this time.  I had a few of my close friends who saw this post ask me my opinion of the comment.  So, here is my opinion:

I truly believe that nothing matters more in this world than family, friends and relationships  (human life).  That being said, I am extremely fortunate that my family and myself did not loose anything in this flood.  I have never suffered a loss like this!

In a previous blog article The Cost of Keeping Things – A Hoarding Story, I had told our hoarding client a story of a family that lost their home in a fire:

We recently had a family in our community lose their home to a house fire and they lost everything.  Everything that is, except their family.  When people were helping them out they kept on saying, “…but none of us were hurt so everything else can just be replaced.”  

So, in a way, I do believe that it is all ‘just stuff’.  As people start to go back to their homes, some putting their entire contents into a dumpster, it still doesn’t take away the shock of it all.  It is so surreal!  There truly are no words to convey the loss that people are facing. If this was to happen to me would I miss family pictures?  Yes.  Would I miss certain items?  Yes, of course I would.  Would I mourn the loss of my home?  Most certainly!  Would I still have my family?  I sure hope so!

What I am reminded of during this horrible time is that you can buy and purchase all the things you think you need, but in the end, it is family, friends, and relationships that will stand the test of time.  At the end of the day I know it is just stuff we are talking about, but it’s YOUR stuff!  I would not wish this kind of devastation on anyone!  As one of my friends, who has suffered loss in this flood so eloquently put, “It is going to be a beautiful start to something amazing, we are certain of that.” (Tracy Paley)  What an amazing, strong statement; so full of optimism!

Flood VolunteersSo as Southern Alberta begins to rebuild, repair and stand strong, I am personally reminded that I am truly grateful for my family, friends, and the amazing community that I live in.  Seeing roughly 2,500 Calgarians and other Albertans pitch in and help each other out makes my heart sing.  Southern Alberta will rebuild and will continue to be stronger than ever!

If you feel so inclined, the Red Cross is accepting donations to help the flood victims.

**An update on the Alberta Flood:  As of June 28, 2013, there have been a total of four deaths reported due to the flood**

For the months of July and August, Get It Together will be donating 10% of each and every sale/service to the Red Cross in an effort to continue to help those Albertans who have suffered great loss in the flood.  

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  1. on 02.07.2013
    at 12:52 PM

    This is such a sensitive topic! And it’s too easy for those of us who haven’t experienced such devastation to flippantly diagnose “just stuff”! I can’t imagine losing absolutely everything and taking it in stride. Yes, it would be nice to start fresh–easy to say when it’s not inflicted. No, it’s not nice to start fresh when family treasures such as photos and heirlooms are gone, not by our own choice.

    My heart goes out to all Albertans–those who suffered loss and those who didn’t. It’s not easy for any of you, and I admire the attitude of those helping even when they don’t know who they’re helping. Cudos to all of you.

    • on 09.07.2013
      at 7:26 AM

      Thanks for the comment Moreen! We continue to hear stories of the kindness of others helping out in this horrible situation. Makes us very proud to be living in Alberta!

  2. on 26.01.2014
    at 5:22 AM

    Last year US has suffered through different natural disasters and Calgary devastating flood is one of the worsts. Many people struggled to setup their home and around. Though I really like the amazing picture’s and videos managed to capture during that critical period. Emotion automatically comes to me whenever I discussed about this topic because two of my cousins were there during that flood and suffered measurably. I hope this type of disaster never happens again.

    • on 26.01.2014
      at 1:06 PM

      Hi Darren,
      I couldn’t agree more! They say the flood in our area was the flood of the century and most likely one we will not see again. I too hope we never have to experience something like that again. People are still trying to get things as much ‘back to normal’ as they can. We continue to be active in knowing what individuals and/or families can use.

      Thanks for stopping by to leave your comment! I hope you have a great day. ~Sheri

  3. on 10.02.2014
    at 10:51 AM

    What a devastating disaster. I’m glad to hear that your family and home were not harmed during this but it is sad to see so many lose so much. In the U.S. there was mass amounts of flooding up in New York, and just like your area, many lost everything they had. I agree that it is better to have your family safe and have all your things taken from you, but it would be hard to cope with! It would be like starting your life over again. I can’t imagine going through such an experience.

    • on 10.02.2014
      at 4:55 PM

      Hi Donald,
      We were extremely fortunate! It is very hard to watch people, young families, senior citizens try and pick up from where they left off having nothing. What I think I will remember the most is how not only our city, but the surrounding cities and towns came together to help total strangers in need. It left me speechless many nights watching the news and hearing more stories of strangers helping out and jumping in to help where needed. The work continues though…and I’m sure it will be many, many years before everyone is ‘back to normal’.

  4. on 13.01.2015
    at 2:10 AM

    I have been using this blog recently and it definitely helps bring visitors back to my blog. Thank you for sharing such a post with so valuable information.

  5. on 10.03.2015
    at 1:08 PM

    It’s terrible to see so many people displaced, but it is also uplifting to see that over 2,500 Calgarians banned together to help those in need. May we remember those lost in our hearts and in our actions.

  6. on 11.03.2015
    at 1:48 AM

    I have friends who were living in Calgary when it happened and they were devastated. Thanks for the article.

  7. on 08.05.2015
    at 7:42 AM

    Really useful article…Thank you Sheri <3

    • on 08.05.2015
      at 7:57 AM

      You’re so welcome Iva! ~Sheri

  8. on 19.11.2015
    at 12:25 AM

    good and useful resource to know…thanx

    • on 19.11.2015
      at 8:49 AM

      You are welcome.

  9. on 28.04.2016
    at 12:00 AM

    You should seriously blog daily about flood. This is awesome. Hell, blog twice a day. I love reading this kind of content.

  10. on 21.06.2016
    at 5:04 AM

    very creative literature

  11. on 22.06.2016
    at 1:18 AM

    This is sad, I can imagine the torture of starting again. The good thing is that there is a light at the end of the tunnel, when one starts again it will be better than before.

  12. on 05.07.2016
    at 2:26 AM

    We treasure life such that the first statement is life preservation and then the rest are just stuff for we can replace them. Thanks for the informative blog.

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