I found this quote and it touched a cord so I decided to share it and comment on it.
"The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen."
--- Elisabeth Kubler-Ross
I think, so often, those who have lost a loved one, suffered tragedy, survived a crisis, endured a chronic illness and simply struggled to find their way through a very tough situation are of two mindsets or maybe more so, respond one of two ways. Perhaps the analogy of ‘whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger’ would most suit here.
Loss and tragedy can often run and control your life. It can make you hard, cynical and so very angry. Those feelings, most likely, occur for everyone at some point in the grief process. In highschool, as many who know me will remember, I lost a very dear friend, a boyfriend in fact, to leukemia. I had been touched by the loss of young people before….not many who grew up in our area of rural Ontario seemed to be immune to it as it just seemed like each year a student or two were killed in accidents in our community. But this was different, this was so heartbreaking to me. It wasn’t that I hadn’t known it could happen but it still caught me by surprise and was the first time my faith was tested. I became very angry and very bitter. I became pretty attention seeking too. And in time, I mellowed, I grieved and I accepted.
With Cole it was different. Initially I wasn’t angry, bitter or cynical. I was lost, I was sad, I was devastated but I was not angry with God. That came in it’s own time though really, I would have to admit, it did not own me. I did feel a very strong sense of being lost, of not knowing how to cope with my feelings , of not being able to find my way out of the grief. At times I still feel that I am still very strongly embraced by grief.
But mostly I feel that I am like so many of the wonderful new friends that I have, those other parents who have lost a child or children in later pregnancy or in infancy, most especially to TTTS. I feel what so many of the people I have met are so inspiring as they have become so full of compassion and love and have grown so much by knowing the despair, the heartbreak and have struggled to find their way back to life after losing their child. They have learned to appreciate life, to embrace and to cherish each moment. So many people have been there for me on horribly sad days. So many of them have reached out to others to let them know that someone cares. They are full of compassion and understanding, they are my dearest friends at times.
They are beautiful people who didn’t just happen.