When bad things happen to good people – 6 coping mechanisms
Why do people die? Especially the ones who are close and near and dear to us. How they die we know, but the “why” can be extremely difficult to comprehend and wrap our hands and heads around. Think of people that are taken from us due to tragic accidents, diseases, and how about the most innocent of them all: children? It is really tough sometimes to make sense of this when an event happens that affects you personally.
Having had my fair share of going through this mind bending exercise three times in a little over a decade, I took same time to reflect upon the situations. When something bad happened to a person that was dear to me it was hard seeing them suffer and it took a while to deal with the fate that seemed to have been sealed well before hand. Anger and refusal to believe the events permeated my thinking at first. The “why” made no sense at all. The adage goes that time heals all wounds. I can honestly say that it may not completely heal your wounds, but the element of time does bring the necessary distance that let me realize that there was a significant amount of positive outcome that went hand in hand with the really bad stuff.
I will give you a few examples. When my mom died of cancer 11 years ago it had been a devastating blow to what was left of our family. In hind sight though, I have to admit that this event made my mom realize how strong she really was, which she had had never realized during her whole life. It also made her (finally) face the question what SHE wanted from life. Prior to her diagnosis she would have never openly talked about what she wanted to do or be. It made my sister realize how strong we really are in dealing with a situation that we previously thought we could not handle.
Another interesting part of synchronicity happened after the funeral at the local coffeehouse. Family and friends gathered to celebrate mom’s life. I spoke with my mom’s best childhood friend and this conversation led to us adopting her as our Ersatzoma (adopted grandma). We are now closer than ever to another distant aunt of mine too as a result of this event. I could add quite a few more really positive incidences, but I think you may be catching the drift here.
Here is a quick list of what you can do when something bad happens to someone you are close to:
- Allow ample time for dealing with your anger and disbelief
- Seek the benefit of getting closer to people and share your sorrow. Shared sorrow is half the sorrow.
- Observe and journal daily about what you go through and what you experience. Go back and reflect upon what you wrote often.
- Collaborate with friends and family and share your findings and feelings.
- It is ok to cry – and laugh too. Remember that the folks who departed from us would have laughed and cried too.
- Roll with the punches; time will help ease the pain. Do not let bitterness and ignorance steel away your life. Live to your full potential; only this way can you cherish and honor the people’s lives who went before us.
The most sense of it all I can sum up in the following adage: Where there is light there is shadow – where there is shadow there is also light.