Tory’s claim to fame was her strong work ethic and infectious laughter. Raising her two children single-handedly and running her freelance event planning business, Tory made it look easy. She refused to complain and somehow managed to get whatever support she needed.
More recently Tory battled breast cancer. True to form her resilience shined through and she inspired others going through similar ordeals.
It was her mother’s sudden death that catapulted Tory into a deep state of despair. Never in her fifty-two years had she encountered this kind of relentless pain and grief.
Tory had always been able to find the sweetness in even the most challenging circumstances but now she felt undone and despondent. Her work that had always brought her so much joy felt strangely hollow.
Have you ever experienced a loss so great that the sweetness of everyday life feels like a vague memory?
Despair as defined by Viktor Frankl is when one suffers and can no longer find meaning. Dr. Frankl explains that the moment you can find meaning in your life, you have the potential to mold that meaning into a personal triumph.
Even under the most hideous conditions he explains that it is possible to find meaning–something important to live for. Usually it is about being available to our loved ones or getting involved in a cause that is bigger than our lives.
None of us is spared pain, suffering, and death. We get to choose how we live, moment to moment.
I remember after my own mother’s sudden and untimely death how empty life felt for me. Almost twenty years later it still feels like a sucker punch when I think about this tragedy.
Thinking of her reminds me that life is so precious and time limited. After the shock of loss subsides, the best any of us can do is show up and participate in life wholeheartedly.
This is the surest way I know to step out of depression, despair, and suffering.
What do you do to bring yourself out of the shock and heartbreak of a loss?
As always, I’d love to hear your comments and feedback. I read them ALL!!