You can make it

You can make it

By: By Don Harold Lawrence

Several years ago, an individual who was going through a devastating grief experience asked me to write an article on the subject, “You Can Make It.” The idea that people can “make it” through the most distressing problems that arise in their lives is encouraging and important because there are times in most of our lives when we seriously question whether or not we can “make it,” and we desperately need to hear someone say, “You can make it.”
When someone we love dies, we walk through that “dark valley of grief.” However, we also experience grief in response to any significant loss that occurs in our lives, such as the loss of a meaningful relationship, our business, vocation, home, reputation, part of our body, eyesight, hearing, mental acuity and the ability to function in the normal routine of life.
We begin to see the possibility that we can “make it” through our grief as we listen to people who have survived serious losses share with us how they made the necessary adjustments that enabled them to go on with life. Individuals who have experienced, adjusted to and survived the worst situations imaginable have “made it” through, and they tell us that we, too, can “make it.”
Choice is critical. We are responsible for our attitude. We choose either to be angry, defeated, “stuck” in self-pity, dysfunctional and a “pain in the neck” to those who know us, or to take responsibility for our life, cope with what has happened, make necessary adjustments, develop a new attitude toward our loss, envision endless possibilities that are available, focus on that which liberates us from our “prison of grief” and incorporate all of this into a new life that is continuously moving forward.
Many bereaved people have discovered the importance of keeping a personal grief journal in which they record their daily feelings, moods, thoughts, questions, ups and downs, battles, changes and progress. As one looks back through these pages from the perspective of time, he/she begins to see a pattern of gradual adjustment, coping, growth, development and a redefinition of life emerging.
Many have discovered the importance of accessing and utilizing the wealth of resources now available to bereaved people through grief support groups, private grief consultation, informative books, video and audio recordings, workshops, seminars and the Internet. Countless bereaved people have discovered strength in prayer and exploring a new spiritual journey.
Thus, the final word to any person who is struggling with grief is, “You can make it.” This does not just “happen” by coincidence, rather it becomes a reality as a result of hard work and complete commitment to the gradual process that culminates in the creation of a new life.
Don Harold Lawrence is coordinator of SUNRISE, which is sponsored by Shackelford Corporation. He may be contacted by mail at 145 Abernathy Drive, Adamsville, TN 38310-3001 or by telephone or fax at (731) 632-4483. His Web address is www.shackelfordfuneraldirectors.com.
Published in The Messenger 5.22.08

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