In November of 2006 I lost my cousin to a fatal road accident. It was even more harrowing because I had known him for little over 10 years; both families had recently become reconciled. He was also one of my favorite cousins.
It was like most deaths of that sort, a needless one. I remember when I first heard the news, the question I kept asking was why? I needed to know why it happened. He was only 24 years old, he hadn’t even begun to really live life. How could he just be snuffed out like that?
I’d just been called to bar (in fact, he was buried on the same day I was called to the bar). So I just buried it deep down inside me and didn’t think about it.
Then less than a year later, I met my husband to be. In telling him about my family, I started to tell him about this cousin when I felt a deep flood of emotion threaten to drown me. I started crying and just couldn’t seem to stop. I cried so hard, I wanted to die. I was still asking why?
I finally dried my tears. I still don’t understand why. I became a lawyer and he wasn’t there to rejoice with me. I’m getting married soon and he never even met my fiance. I still haven’t deleted his email address from my inbox. Many times I think I’m over it and then I feel the grief well up again; and the tears start to trickle down unobtrusively.
But I have refused to allow the grief incapacitate me. Instead I tap into it and it makes me stronger. It gives me more compassion for others, keeps me in touch with my feelings. It reminds me of my own immortality and helps me keep my priorities straight.
I know my cousin is gone and nothing I do will bring him back; not all the grieving in the world. I can’t shut down because of that (he wouldn’t want me to). So I have chosen instead to live and not merely exist. I get together with my brothers and his brother every now and then to reminisce about him. It keeps him alive in our hearts and we offer strength to each other. I live my life in a way I know will make him proud but more than that, the experience has made me more compassionate to others who are also grieving.
These steps are time tested and have been proven (especially in my own life). We can’t stop tragedy form happening but we can overcome tragedy. However it is a personal choice. But it is a choice that can be made if the steps in I Will Not Be Broken are diligently applied.
To learn more about the book and Jerry White himself, read the Book Review.
Maybe you have also overcome tragedy: the death of a loved one, a painful divorce, whatever form it might have taken, please share with us here for all those who might need encouragement. If you would like it as a post in this blog, send a mail to firstname.lastname@example.org