Just as a nuclear bomb converts a small amount of mass to radiant energy (grams?), a merger can convert mass into other forms of energy, too.
Gravitational waves, of which there are probably many passing through us all the time from many sources, carry a lot of power. The only reason we don't see them every day is that spacetime itself is extremely stiff.
Far away in linear approximation (which is what we saw here), the lattice picture is quite appropriate as a first order analogy.
As energy radiates outwards, it becomes diluted on a sphere that increases its surface area as r^2. Thus the local energy density goes with inverse square law in the distance to the observer. But we don't measure the local energy density of gravitational waves, but the local amplitude. And in wave mechanics energy is the square of the amplitude. So the amplitude goes down with 1/r.
Needless to say, you would not survive if 1 solar mass of energy were released in any other form (even neutrinos). The key feature is that that tremendous amount of energy results in only a minuscule deformation of spacetime, i.e., spacetime is extremely stiff.
By the way, the distances are way smaller than merely subatomic. The strain sensitivity is 10^-21, which for the ~ 1 km arms of LIGO is a shift of just 10^-8 the width of an atom.
But it is close!
A supernova releases "few times 10^45 J of neutrino energy" , so let's say 5. 5e45 J is about 6e28 kg, while solar mass is 2e30 kg. And neutron radiation from a supernova would get fatal when closer than about 2.3 AU . So we have a factor of 30 from the masses and a factor of 5 (1^2 AU vs. 2.3^2 AU) from the distance.
So about 1/150 of solar mass released in neutron radiation would be survivable at the distance of 1 AU.