I am taking a break from my many assignments to write about something I just came across a few minutes ago: What do you do when tragedy strikes in the middle of your well planned out busy-ness? The tragedy is usually a loss of some kind: perhaps the loss of a life, a life style, a job, the end of a friendship, youth or a period of peace in your life.
I was searching for a document when I came across a paper I wrote a year or so ago. It was for a Psychology of Education class and I was reflecting on two tragedies that happened in the middle of preparing my students for final exams. Two persons I knew died – one from a long illness and another from an apparent suicide.
The shock of them both hit me so hard, that now I wonder how is it that I managed to operate during that period. I remembered thinking “Holy Crappanoli! I really don’t have time for this – I’m busy!” and then burst out bawling.
Then, as I did with my Dad’s death many years ago, I went into survival mode: I got up, brushed my teeth, showered, did the normal things such as eating, pooping (haha- nasty I know!), sleeping and even went to work and performed as I was expected to.
The fact is, when I read through that paper, I realise that nothing we have previously experienced truly prepares us for when tragedy strikes. For the friend who was sick for a long time, just like Daddy, I thought I was prepared. I was in the middle of a party when I got the news, as Fate would have it, for both passing.
Could it be that I was being reminded that life goes on and I should take even more care to ensure that I made the most of it? Perhaps.
So what do you do when these periods in your life happens?
You keep doing what you always have – you LIVE. That may seem a bit callous but it is what you need to do. You take it one day at a time and cry when you need to and ensure that you mourn. You face the fact that the part of your life will never be the same again and move on as best you can.
Should you hold on to memories? Yes you should. They help make the transition easier but it must be done with the realization that you can’t ever go back. Just as that person won’t ever be alive again, you have to understand that some experiences and some periods in your life was meant to be there for a season only, for however long that season was meant to go on for.
And just like seasons, change must come. If it doesn’t, your life would be one long drawn out ground-hog day like that movie! Imagine the boredom and frustration after a while! If change doesn’t come, you can’t experience growth. Therefore, view this as a part of the learning curve. You have to go through in order to grow through.
Change is going to come. Whether we’re ready for it or not. Our best response is to embrace it and manage as best we can.