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When Tragedy Strikes and the Healing Begins

By: | Tags: | Comments: 0 | August 9th, 2018

As I was doing my search for new books and music, I came across a CD entitled “Beauty Will Rise” by Steven Curtis Chapman.  The songs on the CD talk about Chapman’s journey after his adopted daughter’s accidental death.  He shares his struggles, his anguish, his doubts, his faith and his hope.


Maybe some of us (like myself) seemed removed from tragedies like an accidental death of a child, suicide, murder, natural disasters (e.g., the New Orleans hurricane, the Joplin tornado which claimed many lives), or the 9/11 terrorist attack, which makes us so horrified about the death, damage, and destruction to people’s lives.  Unless the tragedy is happening to us, we don’t get a real sense of how it really impacts us.  We can’t begin to understand the depth of the situation, our words, thoughts fail to capture the essence of it.


We know that people feel shock, guilt, anguish, pain, lost, doubt etc.  Those who are directly impacted wonder if they will ever get over the event, being emotionally ripped apart.  They wrestle with all sorts of emotions and ask the “what if” questions.  Some scream, beg, plead for the situation to change, to make the pain go away. The grieving can go one forever it seems.  Nothing really makes sense.  You may even question God’s goodness or waiver in your faith in Him.  All of this is completely normal.


Healing begins when we face the reality that a horrible thing has happened and your loved one is not coming back. It’s hard to believe any “good” can come from personal tragedy.  I believe people can benefit from group work by listening to other’s stories, so they don’t feel alone in their grief.  Other people can understand your feelings, the trials you are going through. 


Time will give you some perspective to the situation if you allow yourself to go through the range of emotions and talk it out with someone who does truly understand. Give yourself permission that it’s ok not to have all the answers. Honor your loved one through visits to the cemetery, creating a scrapbook or memory book, writing stories or poems, drawing a picture.  Or check out the CD noted above if songs and music helps you in your grief work (I bought it and it is a wonderful CD).
Linda Luecke  MA, LPC

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