Loss is inevitable. It hurts, it breaks us apart, it brings us to our knees.
It shows that we cared.
Hold your fractured heart and piece it together to heal.
I crossed paths with someone recently who had suffered a loss like no other. In a short period of time, her children were taken from her in a brutal vehicular assault, a little later followed by the death of her parents and then the burning down of her house.
Stuff that movies are made of, she said. Perhaps she could star in the film, she laughed.
How this woman was able to laugh and joke was jolting to most of us. In the conference where she spoke, the message that came out was “You put one foot in front of the other because tomorrow is a new day”. Anyone who attended could recognize that the depth of the trauma she had endured in the last five years required strength beyond understanding. How does someone face this level of loss in each waking moment?
What she told us was her message for survival. In her very visible platform of sharing, she allowed herself to grieve in public, she sent out the message that you too can defy the odds. You cannot allow someone or something else the power to steal your dignity and take everything from you. That each day, she is just a little smidgen stronger, she is more brave, she knows that she must tell other people that they can do it too. This is why she survives.
If our lives are running smoothly, slow traffic or “not getting the deal” can throw off your day. Think about it, in the grand scheme of things, on the scale of ‘this is upsetting” where do you think these things would fall into this speaker’s life. My guess is that not even a blip would register! As this magnificent woman said, every moment she thinks of what she’s lost, she spends two minutes thinking of all she has and all she could do. Now THAT is courage.
If we devote our lives with this attitude, wouldn’t most of us feel grateful for our circumstances?
When it’s our turn to be brought to our knees, think of this woman and all that we have to give the world.