Most often tragedies come as an event, a moment, after which things are never the same.
In my work life, I deal with these events all the time. Families that were once happy, functioning organisms come to a point where they no longer work. While the buildup may have taken days, months or years, the point where someone decides “No more” begins the end.
The same is true when someone receives a terminal diagnosis, or loses a much-needed job, or suffers the effects of a natural disaster, or loses a spouse, or parent, or child to an accident. Even that diagnosis of autism. From that day, life changes.
That day may be one that you relive again and again, trying to see where you could have done something differently, wanting desperately for life to return to the moment before it became too late.
But in my opinion, that’s not the most important day. The most important is the next day.
No matter what’s happened, or how devastating that is to you, the long-term impact depends on how you greet the morning after. If you wake up with the view that your life is now over, it very well may be. I know people who, after their spouse died, followed them very soon thereafter, unable to forge a separate existence.
It takes a certain amount of heart, courage and determination to move past these difficult life changes. There are cancer patients who get six months to live and turn it into remission. Hurricane and flood survivors build a new life. Divorce ends one phase of your life and begins another. As the mother superior says in The Sound of Music, “When God closes a door, he opens a window.”
There is a morning after, and a new way to look at your life. Take that chance and fly out that window into what awaits.
Charles Darwin says:
“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change.”
Humans have proven over thousands of years that they can survive. Depends how you handle the next day, and the day after that. You can do it. Believe.