The Crushing Burden of Recovery

Annie Lundgren
1 min readDec 11, 2020

I see why folks need case managers to walk through the fire relief process.

Today I spent a few hours on the phone with an agency tracking down information and getting forwarded to new numbers and voicemails.

Gratefully, I did get through to several incredibly kind people who shared their knowledge and put my friend on the appropriate list for housing.

Now as I review my notes, I can’t quite remember the nuances of each conversation.

Not everyone had the most up-to-date information, and in some cases, I had to pry details, attempting to puzzle out the right next steps.

And now we wait — for the next phone call with news of available shelter and renewed conversation on eligibility, criteria, length of stay, and suitability. Nothing is guaranteed.

The survivors I’ve talked to recently are so exhausted. Their brains are sputtering as they manage full time jobs, survival, and months of navigating applications, phone calls, insurance, and agencies.

It really is too much for any one person to handle all on their own. There is not emotion, energy or time enough in a given week to complete all of the required tasks or to remember what is next.

I grieve now, not only for their losses of September 8, but for their crushing burden of working through recovery, especially now into the winter cold.

♡ Annie

Originally published at on December 11, 2020.