You just received some stunning news, and your world has been turned inside out and upside down. What will you do, and how can you turn things around after a tragedy or a deep heartache and keep going? Your first thought is, “I don’t know how I’m ever going to get through this.” Even though your world has stopped, everyone else’s world keeps going on as usual. How will you get through this tragedy? What will your life look like afterward?
Archive for the ‘Response to tragedy’ Category
For once, let’s forget about dancing around the bush – or being politically correct. Let’s agree not to sweep the truth under the rug and stay silent. If you’ve faced a major loss, you know the truth. Grief is hard.
Even grief professionals are sometimes surprised and overwhelmed when they face a profound personal loss. (more…)
Grief is a formidable force—and when it hits you directly, it holds the power to take you to your knees. What can you do? How do you stand back up when grief knocks you down?
You know how it is when something makes such an impression on you, or affects you deeply, and you just can’t get it out of your mind. My husband and I went to see American Sniper a couple of weeks ago and I can’t stop thinking about what I saw. Even more, I can’t forget what I felt as I watched Chris Kyle’s story unfold on the screen. (more…)
Max and Molly were inseparable. They spent their entire lives together – until Molly became sick with an incurable form of cancer. Soon afterward we had to put her to sleep. Then Max was alone, without his sister, for the first time. And surprisingly, Max our cat taught me something about grief.
I’m always watching for outstanding resources to recommend, and the article discussed in this post is filled with 115 helpful websites on grief and bereavement. I believe this list represents a collection of some of the very best online resources available for coping with grief and bereavement.
In this article on the MastersInCounseling.org website, you will find a wide range of resources directed toward grief brought about by a variety of life events, including but not limited to death. You’ll find information to help you understand, guidance to help you cope, and a supportive community so you know you are not alone.
Grief is tough – there’s no doubt about it. But don’t ever think you are powerless over your journey or your life. At the end of the day, what are you focusing on? Ask yourself the question. It’s important. Your answer may well determine not only if you will still be standing, but whether you’ll survive or thrive.
People have searched to learn about the effects of grief, so I wanted to shed a little light on the subject.
When grief noticeably touches your life and everything inside and around you, and you finally grow tired of things the way they are, then you’ll likely decide to figure out what’s going on and take action. Do you understand what is happening? And do you know what you have to do to get beyond this point?
Grief holds the power to literally stop you in your tracks. It spills over into every part of your life, and you cannot keep it self-contained or compartmentalized, regardless of how hard you try. Grief’s effects impact:
Last week brought terror and heartache to people across our country, but our collective pain and grief are only a shadow of the pain and grief felt by victims whose lives were directly touched by the tragedies in Boston, MA and West, TX. My heart aches for each of these people and their families … for the way their lives have been forever changed and for the unbelievable pain they face over the next weeks, months, and years as they work through their grief and learn to accept (and adjust to) the changes inflicted on their lives because of their losses. When tragedy and grief devastate you, what do you do?
I doubt that anyone would argue with the statement, “Life is an ever-changing, developing story.” Stuff happens to us all the time. We find ourselves in different situations, sometimes unexpected. We meet new people. We go places, and we try new things.
Everything factors into the way we see ourselves and the world around us. We hardly notice certain things while others produce life-altering effects. That’s what I’m talking about here — the life-altering effects — and whatever creates them! So the question is: “What defines your life?”
As I lay in bed last night, trying to go to sleep, a line from John Donne’s famous poem kept racing across my mind: “No man is an island.” His words of so long ago are surely as true today as when he wrote them.
I kept thinking about the tragedy last week in Newtown, CT, especially since just a few of days ago marked the first day of funerals for those who were gunned down. I couldn’t get those families out of my mind … nor the words of the poem.
You’ve just been overwhelmed by a major loss. You feel powerless. You’re in agonizing pain. You don’t know what to do or think. And I’m urging you to choose to grieve. What do I mean?
At first, your pain will spread to nearly everything you see, think, and feel. Your thinking will likely be impaired and unfocused, and your concentration reduced. You won’t be in a position to consider and make logical decisions right away. However, don’t be overly concerned. This fuzzy state of mind will improve.
Your initial state of shock and disbelief is your body’s way of protecting you. Your loss is too difficult to absorb all at once, so your body and mind seem to enter into an ‘autopilot’ state. You’re able to function in a basic way, but at the same time, your body protects you from grasping all that is happening within and around you. Reality will hit soon enough.
Each of us can probably point to certain defining moments in our lives when something happened that changed our course or direction. Maybe it’s an ‘Aha’ moment when suddenly we understood a concept that changed everything for us. Perhaps it’s an achievement such as finally earning an advanced degree, winning a race, or reaching an important personal goal. Positive events such as these can be pivotal in moving us ahead, in charting a new path, or by propelling us to a higher level. Such events may also work to redefine who we are and who we can be as a consequence of our experience.
On the other hand, painful events carry the potential to define our lives, too, and the result can either be positive or negative.
When circumstances and incidents take place that are outside of your control, do you sometimes feel as though you’re a pawn? Do you feel helpless? The truth is that loss is often beyond your control—and grief and loss bring choices—however, you are not powerless.
When grief entered my life, I was so naïve. I had no idea what to expect, and I surely didn’t realize I had choices (or responsibilities) for anything related to the grief that confused and overwhelmed me. However, as time went on, I came to understand that I did have choices to make—and these decisions carried the potential to drive me in completely opposite directions that would affect my future and my outlook on life.