When harsh disasters strike or unexpected tragedies occur — such as Columbine, 9/11, the OKC tornadoes, or the Orlando shooting — it can create intense grief and always reveals truth.
To the grief community, it can stir up emotions they previously went through in whatever original loss they personally experienced.
It can also affect all of mankind and bring to light a deep perspective about mortality and even some avoided issues in life.
Grief is extremely heartbreaking, tragic, and draining. I believe if no lessons are experienced during grief, that is tragic, too…because the lessons and truths you learn through your hardest days prevents your grief from being in vain.
So what lessons and truths can you learn through tragedy? There are many. Here are seven that are universal:
7 Truths You Learn Through Tragedy
1. We all go through grief at some point in our lives, so to help another through grief is an incredible way to honor those we have lost or to make the bad times we’ve experienced in life count. Everybody needs encouragement and help from time to time — especially during the toughest days of their life. Why not be that help and encouragement to your loved ones today?
2. Tragedy brings out both the good and bad in family, friends, and mankind. It’s crazy how a sudden situation of grief can sift a person’s relationships. You truly see who your good family and friends are — and the ones who aren’t so great. It’s also crazy how grief and tragedy can bring out the good in people…and also the bad. I’m always delighted to see people come together in the midst of bad situations and actively care for others…and I’m equally disappointed to see others who distance themselves or use their energy to create further chaos and heartache for others. Always choose to be the cool breeze and bright ray of sunshine after a storm instead of the torrential rain that pounds and destroys others.
3. Sudden tragedies can intensify a griever’s previous grief, trigger memories, and create compassion. Since they understand what the affected ones are going through…and are about to go through…they most likely will also experience feelings that may surprise them. For example: if a parent who has already experienced losing a child sees the parents of the victims of the Orlando shooting on TV (or through other media), it can bring back feelings a griever already thought they had dealt with…or feelings they buried deep and may not have dealt with at all. Or like the Stanford case, it can trigger haunting memories for victims who have been assaulted. It’s good to realize this so one can be prepared.
4. It brings into balance what one’s priorities in life should be. When tough events take place, you truly learn or you are reminded of what’s important…and what’s not. You realize how fleeting life truly can be.
5. It puts into proper perspective how important loved ones are. Suddenly that argument or disagreement you previously had with a loved one isn’t near as important as you thought it was. You “get” how much you love your family and friends. You understand how loved ones can be here “today” and suddenly gone “tomorrow” with no warning at all.
6. Living life to the fullest takes on a whole new meaning. You understand at a greater level how precious life is. You realize the truth that you don’t always get a “do-over” or have “tomorrow” to experience life — to do the things you’ve always wanted to do…to go on vacations to the places you’ve always wanted to go…to enjoy and experience events with family and friends who bring you the greatest joy in life. Living life becomes important.
7. When you know of another person going through a grief event — especially if you have previously experienced grief — you finally see it is an important opportunity not to be missed. When you’ve been through grief, you have the incredible ability to help another person through hard terrain that you have already ventured and conquered. You’re basically a human GPS who can offer guidance to others going through their grief. Offering compassion, a listening ear, a meal, hard earned wisdom, or other tangible ways of caring, are healing to both the new griever and the old. Never miss an opportunity to help another person who is hurting.
“Compassion is the greatest form of love humans have to offer.” ~Rachel Scott (Columbine victim)
What truths have you learned or realized through grief or tragic circumstances? There are lessons through every event we experience or go through in life.
Never miss the ability to learn from and become a better person from one.
Gratitude & blessings,
©2016 by Kim Niles. All rights reserved.
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For more encouragement:
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Getting Your Breath Back After Life Knocks It Out of You (Kim’s book): Click here for book
FREE YouVersion reading plans:
1. Grief Bites: Finding Treasure In Hardships: https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/912-grief-bites-finding-treasure-in-hardships
2. Grief Bites: Doubt Revealed: https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/954-grief-bites-doubt-revealed
3. Grief Bites: A New Approach To Growing Through Grief https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/862-grief-bites
4. Grief Bites: Hope For The Holidays: https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/1964-grief-bites-hope-for-the-holidays
Kim’s blog: http://www.griefbites.com