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Haitian Emigres Experience Grief Over Quake Victims Differently

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A Haitian church member is comforted by a fellow parish member. She lost her niece and cousin during the earthquake in Haiti. She says their bodies were too decomposed for surviving family members to recover.
Mana Rabiee
A Haitian church member is comforted by a fellow parish member. She lost her niece and cousin during the earthquake in Haiti. She says their bodies were too decomposed for surviving family members to recover.

By Mana Rabiee

For Haitian-Americans, the level of worry over the safety of relatives in Haiti sometimes depends on when they emigrated to the U.S.

At the Rockville Seventh Day Adventist Church, where some ten families from Haiti worship, Yvette Sulio attends bible study in Creole.

Sulio considers the church her family, but she's still getting word from Haiti about the fate of relatives back home.

"They find my niece on the street dead and they cannot pick up the body. The body is already decomposed," she says. "My cousin, they find him dead and there's more. They're still looking."

Haitian-American Pastor Rodney Charitable heads the nearby Havre de Grace Adventist church. He says first generation Haitians generally experience the earthquake differently because they have fewer close relatives there, Haitians like Andrew Richardson.

"For the immediate family we're all safe, either here in America or in Canada," he says.

The Havre de Grace Church holds a special prayer service Sunday night. The Haitian Ambassador to the U.S. is expected to attend.

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