My last blog entitled, ‘Fear of Change, involved the predictable stages of grief/loss that we all experience when faced with life altering changes. I used the topic of seniors about to graduate from high school to demonstrate that even when happy events (graduation) happen it is normal to experience a sense of loss. Why? When we leave the familiar and move into new unchartered territory fear rears its ugly head and can paralyze our thinking and action temporarily. Recognizing our fear for what it is (fear of the unknown) and verbalizing it to others helps diminish the negative effect and allows us to move, albeit, slowly, carefully forward.
These grief stages can be witnessed even more dramatically in sad or catastrophic events such as the disappearance of Flight 370. As of this writing, despite all the valiant search efforts by many countries there is still no information on the fate of those 239 people on board.
The 24/7 news coverage demonstrates the Stages of Loss (known by the acronym DABDA) of denial, anger, bargaining, depression and finally acceptance. We have seen people yelling, protesting, crying, praying, in shock, even unable to stand unaided as they experience the first 4 stages of grief/loss. The last stage involving acceptance is not even on their radar screen as yet. Why? How could anyone hold on to even a shred of hope after two full weeks?
For those of us who have lost a loved one … we get it. Sadly, reaching the final stage of acceptance takes an immense amount of time. The mind cannot process what the heart cannot yet accept. While concrete evidence or reasons help immensely for closure they cannot, in themselves, hasten the ultimate stage of acceptance. In the meantime, the families and friends of the 239 people number in the 1000’s – each of whom are experiencing the emotional roller coaster of grief in their own way and time.
We have all been swept up in this tragedy. Our hearts go out to those who wait with hope in their hearts to hear that a miracle has happened and their loved ones have been saved. Unrealistic expectations? Possibly, but who among us could simply say we wouldn’t be walking in those same shoes?
It does not seem to compute in our minds how in our technologically rich world a disappearance of this magnitude is even possible. Yet, as we hear of the heroic attempts being made to locate even a scrap of evidence we realize how small we are in the scheme of things in our world. A fact that truly humbles us.
What can we do as observers of this event? First and foremost we must realize that our thoughts, prayers and good intentions for the families of those who were on board the plane need to continue unabated. Regardless of the outcome we must remember that with love, understanding and time healing will take place. It is the type of healing that results when acceptance of the event finally begins to sink into our psyche and we move to the question…now what?
Acceptance of a loss forces us to a new level where we begin to question the meaning of our lives. We realize that tomorrow is not a given and only this very moment can be assured. We recalibrate our life compass to help us appreciate a bit more each and every moment we have on this earth. We try, with each new encounter, to make a more positive impact on others as we face our latest life challenge. We remember with humility that we have not walked in the another’s shoes and we learn to accept them unconditionally as we all work on our own unique life lessons. We appreciate life in a different way as we accept the fact that an expiration date is stamped on each of our souls. Ultimately, we move on with a greater sense of dignity and grace in this classroom called life.
Until next time remember, ‘All is as it Should Be.’