Saturday, March 8, 2014

Dealing with Bad news

I heard some awful news recently.  It was the kind of news that made me sad for everyone involved.  The kind of news that you feel in the pit of your stomach.  When awful things happen, we all try to find meaning that will somehow help us deal with terrible events.  The levels and layers of grief are very complex.  We often think of grief only in terms of someone dying, but we can experience grief in so many ways.  We grieve when we hear something sad or horrible, we grieve when we see someone that we care about and they are hurting.  We grieve when something doesn’t go according to plan.  Going through grief, regardless of the reason for the grief, is a challenging and difficult process.  We try so hard to look for answers, why did this happen?

Unfortunately sometimes there is not an easy answer.   The truth is that bad things happen & there really isn’t anything we can do about it except to deal with it and work hard at appreciating the good things in our lives.  That is not the answer that most of us want to hear.  We want to do something, but often we don’t actually know what to do. 

I have had more experience with my own versions of bad news than I care to acknowledge.  In the middle of a difficult situation it is often hard to see beyond the present circumstances and be hopeful for the future.  Sometimes, that hope is all we have to hold on to.

I have noticed that there is something about writing that pushes me to view the world differently.  Writing is also helping me to deal with problems or challenges.  When I face something difficult, I try to look at all the aspects of the situation and identify what it is teaching me.  I use writing as a way to process through these feelings.  Writing can be a very powerful tool in dealing with grief. 

I don’t think I will ever really understand why bad things have to happen, but for me, I know that really awful times in my life have shown me the depth of my strength and courage, they have led me through a horrible time and into some of the best things in my life.  It’s hard to say I am grateful for the bad things that have happened, but I can say that I am grateful for the lessons they taught me.  I learned how to appreciate what I have. I learned that showing love to those I care about is one of the most important things I can do.  I learned that everyone is struggling and dealing with challenges, and we all need to support each other.  I learned that I can use my writing – even in the most difficult times, and it can help me.

To my friends who are struggling with bad news, if writing isn’t your thing, I hope you can find something that helps you deal with it, and don’t be afraid to reach out for help.  We all need to help each other sometimes.