Finding the Gift in the Sorrow

This is by far not anything original, but it strikes me recently that many sad events in our lives can also bring unexpected satisfaction, validation or even appreciation that might not have been there before the event.  Some real stories to illustrate these points.

Parents sue their oldest son, the most devoted of the three children. Their relationship is forever severed and everyone loses.  Yet the middle daughter finds out that the perfect oldest son has secretly been harboring resentment for years, although he’s never uttered a negative word before about the parents.  That middle daughter always thought her older brother thought she was flawed and disturbed and sick, yet finally finds out that he’s agreed with her all along. She feels understood and finally validated.  The family fallout results in validation for the “crazy” daughter.

A married woman finds it frustrating that her mother in law always talks and talks about her older son, trying to force the rest of the family to be nicer to him.  He’s a narcissist. She tries to gloss over his selfishness and make the rest of the family feel guilty about leaving him out of activities for years.  She develops dementia in her old age.  She forgets who she is talking to. She finally acknowledges that only two of her sons were good sons. The daughter in law feels validated to finally find out even her mother in law didn’t believe the crap she tried to sell.

A young man has a drug addicted mother.  His grandmother takes him in.  She’s very angry and resentful at how much he still wishes to be with his mother.  Sometimes she can be very abusive.  As an adult, he has alot of difficulty with intimacy and works hard in therapy to overcome this. He wants to re-connect with his grandmother but is afraid of her anger.   So he feels guilty and avoids her, but thinks about her constantly.  She has a stroke when she’s 82.  It’s a slow brain bleed and she’s awake and alert but unable to talk.  He gets a chance to make his peace with her before she dies. She can’t yell at him. She even smiles once as he talks to her in her last days.

A young man is busy with his work and young family.  He might not always be the most involved or attentive person he intends to be.  An elderly aunt passes. It makes him realize he hasn’t seen his grandmother in a nursing home for years, and makes a trip to bring his young family to see her.  The guilt he feels at the one neglect impels him to make it up to someone else still alive.   It touches his mother deeply.

When we’re in the midst of sorrow and sadness, sometimes it’s hard to see how something positive can possibly come out of it, yet that’s how us humans are.  As long as we live, we’re able to adapt, keep breathing, keep moving, and recover. Eventually even something new grows out of charred earth.  That is life.  Watch for the buds.  Keep moving forward.

Finding the Gift in the Sorrow

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