What Good Comes from Tragedy? Your Perspective and Experience

Have you ever experienced a Tragedy? Of course you have. Whether a personal tragedy or one you were challenged by as a person in our culture, you have. It is common to be sad, upset, angry, frustrated, emotional, confused, or in denial AND you have been emotionally impacted. A terminal illness and death of a younger friend has triggered the memory for me of the terminal diagnosis given to my wife 15 years ago. We were confused, upset, angry because it was not fair! My wife did not deserve this diagnosis. She had so much to live for. She had lived a “healthy” lifestyle. She was a “good person” dealt a “BAD” hand… She tried everything to alter the outcome and was able to out live the prognosis by a lot however, she did not survive. This difficult challenge brought my wife and I closer together as a team. She learn to trust me in ways impossible prior to this illness. We shared experiences that no couple should have to experience. AND, we learned so much. 6 plus years since her transition from this life, I am left to reflect on what has happened to my wife and to our lives and how I can use this difficult learning.

For a moment, resist the welling emotion you are feeling. Perhaps the feeling of sadness or your fear generated upset. Though I would NOT wish this situation on anyone, or any couple, or any family, or any community of friends, I will say that this was such an important learning challenge for ALL of us that I would find it difficult to wish life had turned out different. I miss my life partner and lover of 28 years… There has been a huge void in my being but I have also known the great gift learned from this tragedy.

I am not alone in having a tragic event in my life. We have all lost friends or family members or relationships or careers or homes… We have all faced these tragedies with a range of emotions AND we have all learned from these experiences. Now realize, that from these tragedies you are a changed person AND you have to now share the knowledge or wisdom you have gained from these difficult events. You can wallow in your grief. You are entitled to a period of adjustment. You must tend to your emotional scars. BUT, you must learn, adjust, and move on into the next phase of your life. Perhaps, you will need to be a mentor or a guide to someone else who is experiencing a similar tragedy or loss. By telling your “story” you offer perspective, information, and support for the witness and YOU benefit from getting greater clarity in the act of sharing this experience. You can be a beacon of light guiding others through a dark time. Remember, we learn more from the “dark” times than we do basking in the light of happiness. This is sad but true. Your perspective and experience can be of service to the community and to the world. Consider this a value for the price you have paid by surviving and learning from your tragedy.

YOU are a Master who has been forged out of the depths difficulties to serve other pilgrims you meet along your path through life… You are a Blessing! Your Gift to the World is YOU!

Are you ready to step up and be the beacon? You can do this in a silent vigil or shouting out to the crowd. As a survivor of a tragedy, you must tell your story. Just as NDE (Near Death Experience) survivors return to re-integrate back into their bodies and their lives with the Purpose to share their experience of the overwhelming Grace from the other side of the “veil,” YOU are returned from the depths to share your story and guide others through their challenging experience.

Thank you in advance for your sharing your story. Consider, if appropriate, sharing this blog with people who are struggling with tragedy.

If you are READY and looking for a supportive community where you can share your story, your wisdom, and grow spiritually in a non-religious environment, consider Masters of the Journey.
You are a Blessing! You are a Master! Your wisdom from your life experience can have great value to other pilgrims on the path toward awakening and enlightenment.

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After the Death of My Wife: 6 Months Into the Void

June, 2012 – Posted by L. John Mason –

It has been an interesting six months since my wife passed. Early on, besides the overwhelm, I thought I could get through this difficult transition fairly quickly due the knowledge that I had been preparing for this loss for 7 years. I am learning that this was an illusion. When my parents passed away, I handled this well and moved back into my life with relative ease, but losing my life partner of 28 years has proven to be more difficult than I had imagined. Life has a way of being surprising. And, expectations have a way of leading to disappointment.

I have no reason to whine. I have great friends and lots of healthy support. What has surprised me are the little things that then trigger the beautiful, bitter-sweet memories that float through my consciousness and cause the tears to flow down my cheek. These events are brief, and for the most part, cherished as friendly ghosts of a loving relationship. I have learned that a remembering which causes a smile and then a tear are beautiful and a celebration. Certain events that I would not have thought would trigger the flow of emotions surface like Mother’s Day. It was harder than I thought and I am not sure why. Preparing for the local Relay for Life and the beginning “Survivor’s Walk” was an event that Barbara and I participated in for 7 years and this year the anticipation was difficult.

We have all suffered loss and transitions, and we have our own unique way of getting through these times. Perhaps your loss was not the death of loved one but a relationship change, or a job change, or a move into a new environment. There are changes that are more difficult than others based on your individual life. There are times when you ruminate about your loss and seem to spiral down into despair. These are important lessons to learn from in your life, not easy or fun, but important to wade through. There are recommendations that can be made to allow you to move more gracefully through these possibly dark times. Consider the following: 1. Take Good Care of yourself… practice wellness, 2. Get the HEALTHY support from healthy friends or family, 3. Get Professional counseling support if needed, 4. Focus on positive potential plans or goals, 5. Do not be in hurry to control your expectations (easier said than done.)

Consider sharing your feelings and thoughts early and often. The more you share the story the more you can desensitize yourself to the trauma unless you are ruminating too deeply. Avoiding the healing, with its pain, by using substances like alcohol, drugs, and food can give some people momentary comfort but can slow down the process or even create more problems. For me, the best strategy has been to speak with my many healthy supportive friends. Though not everyone is as lucky as me in this way, you might be well warned that building these positive relationships can and should be done now for your future requirements. If all else fails, local hospice organizations have bereavement groups that can get you started. There are books on the subject. There are counselors, coaches, and clergy who are trained to help. Do not think that you are strong to hold these things in and to NOT BOTHER anyone else with your pain. In fact, by sharing your grief and challenges you are probably allowing others the great benefit of being able to give some support and nurturing to you (and this will allow your partner to feel good about their efforts in your support.) Listen to advice when given but move slowly and carefully on any additional transitions that may be suggested. In most cases you do NOT need to rush into anything.
We can not escape life without loss and transitions. The trick is to learn how get through these times as gracefully as possible and to learn the lessons as easily as possible (so you do not have these lessons have to be repeated…) Keep your eyes open and your heart prepared to give and to receive. No one knows how to do these things perfectly and most of the time these transitions will not be pretty. They will be tests and lessons to learn from.
When we lose a major source of love and support, you can not easily replace this relationship but you can find ways to be open to positive, healthy relationships, and new sources of love, to begin to fill the void. (Do not rush into this but allow yourself to consider the possibilities.)

Please take good care of yourself. Support your friends and family if they have had losses ’cause we can all learn from these times… Celebrate Peace…

We send comments, your thoughts, and your feedback the Stress Education Center at wellness@dstress.com or through the website at www.dstress.com