Recovering From the Shock of Bad News
What’s with that moment when you find out terrible news? It’s like time stops and you know it won’t start again until you wrap your head around the news you just heard, whether it be about you or someone you love.
I had one of those moments a few days ago and am having trouble returning to normalcy. Thoughts, repeating and new, are streaming through my mind of all the possibilities and outcomes one of my best friends will face as she battles her just diagnosed cervical cancer. At the age of 27, as we are beginning to start our own families, this amazing person who has already been through so many difficult times is yet again in another situation she cannot control. I know life isn’t fair, we have all seen that, but why do illnesses feel so unjust?
I believe there is a part in all of us that we don’t know exists until something horrible happens to us or someone we love. It is the part of us that will fight to find what is good and right in the world around us in the midst of pain and anguish. I saw her do this when her father died in front of her just weeks before her wedding. She has since embraced others in a way she did not before, and consciously enjoyed the good times more than she would have otherwise. She has emphasized forgiveness, humility, and kindness. But I know she wishes it wouldn’t have taken a tragedy to get her there.
What she has taught me is that expressing your feelings and fears makes it easier. Leaning on those you love you is necessary. And that good can come from every painful experience. I encourage all people to seek that out, no matter how trivial or serious your tribulations are today.
Return from that initial shock, and do what you can to make the best of a bad situation. You will surely inspire others as this brave woman has.