Around the world we are watching the effects of the devastating tornado in Moore, Oklahoma. To date, 24 people have lost their lives. Natural disasters are frighteningly unpredictable and may cause us to feel uncertain, vulnerable even fearful of tomorrow.
We don’t understand why things of this magnitude happen and why one life is spared and another lost. What can we do to regain our emotional balance and continue on with our lives? Of equal importance, what can we do to help others?
Many times contributing to a reputable assistance fund to aid the victims allows us to feel that we are doing something, however small, to offer a measure of comfort and support. Possessions can, over time, be replaced and are merely things, commodities that seemed important at a point in our lives.
The irreplaceable loss, of course, are the human lives. The deaths of those 24 people will leave a gaping hole in the hearts of their family members who must face tomorrow without them. For those of us who have experienced the loss of a loved one, we know the lives of those left behind will be changed forever. We also remember the importance of taking the time to connect with someone who has experienced a loss. We need not worry about what to say for words, oftentimes, are unnecessary. Our energy and concern for the grieving soul can offer strength to them. Simply listening to them as they talk about their loved one can be a lifeline. It helps keep their loved ones alive in their minds as they talk about them and remember….
Every person grieves on their own timeframe. What we do know is that the stages of grief are painfully predictable. Denial, anger, bargaining and acceptance are real emotional hurdles – mountains even, that we must overcome when we have lost a loved one. It will take a great deal of time before the survivors will be able to first crawl, then more slowly stand and regain their footing. Initially, they may question what they could have or should have done to prevent their loved ones’ death. Over time, they arrive at an acceptance that they were powerless to prevent the loss and, as cruel as it may sound, “All is as it should be.” They will never forget their loved one that is physically gone but will gradually begin to rely on the loving memories as salve for their wounded hearts. Losing a loved one has a way of humbling all of us – bringing us to our knees with gut wrenching pain.
Eventually, loss causes us to reexamine the importance of our priorities in life and we place greater value on our relationships with friends and family. Whatever moments we have left become even more purposeful and significant.
Let’s remember the adage, ‘Live each moment to the fullest.’ As witnessed in Moore, tomorrow is shockingly, painfully uncertain. The only thing we do have for certain is this moment – right here – right now in which to make a difference.
Thanks for reading!