This photo, from the front page of today’s Washington Post, is a stark reminder of why I practice. While suffering is an undeniable fact of life, this particular woman’s suffering cuts straight to the core and leaves me overwhelmed with feelings of compassion and heart-ache. From the lead-in to the story:
To grow old in Haiti, where so many die young, has always been considered an achievement worthy of great respect. But in the weeks after the devastating quake there, the elderly have been forgotten. Nursing homes are in ruins and caregivers have disappeared. There are no rails to lean on, no ramps for their wheelchairs. Ronald Blain, a Haitian government official, admits that the old have suffered disproportionately. “They are invisible,” he said.
Washington Post photojournalist Nikki Kahn‘s gallery that accompanied the online version of the story is like a punch to the gut — Pulitzer-quality work that is absolutely brilliant. The complete online gallery is here. Nikki’s work will bring tears to your eyes.
PORT-AU-PRINCE, HAITI – MARCH 8: Scene from the Azil Communal home for the aging population in Port-Au-Prince, Haiti, is shown on Monday, March 8, 2010. (Photo by Nikki Kahn/The Washington Post)