How we coped with our tragedies
Dealing with traumas in life

How we coped with our tragedies

Life just seems to be getting harder and harder, even for us. What we deem to be a major problem in our lives, particularly at home, would be shrugged off by others as nothing but a trivial matter, easily overcome.

All I need to do is look out of our bedroom window in the morning and count our blessings. I rise a lot earlier than most folks in our neighborhood. But long before I’ve gone to the bathroom to prepare myself for the day, there are people slowly making their way through our streets to the big city.

As I peer through the curtains, unlocking the chinks in my hair, I see bedraggled men and women, dressed in rags and pushing carts loaded with all forms of recyclable items. They are ready for work. But their hard lives mean that they need to be on the road a lot sooner than most of us. By the time you’ve just managed to jump on the train, many of them would have hopefully made their first meager sale of the day. But this much is true about all of us. The hard life is on all of us.

It does not always appear so to others, but we have had our fair share of traumas. You could even say, more than our fair share. The fact is not deliberately disguised, but I think that one of the reasons we manage to carry ourselves well is that we were fortunate enough to exercise wisdom and seek help as early as possible when it was needed. On the surface and, indeed, reflected in his personality, many would not recognize that my husband is rather ill.

To manage his illness and live healthily for the rest of his natural life, he has to persist with his on-going prescriptions of chronic medication. Otherwise there’s a fair chance that he might not make it. Me, I’ve had my tragedies. Not one, but two family members were lost in a short space of time. And it was all so unexpected and a huge shock to everyone concerned. My oldest brother died prematurely after a short illness. And my youngest brother, living with my mother, may not be too far behind.

But it was my father who provided the greatest shock of all. I’m telling you, no matter what happened, no family, whether anyone is culpable or not, should have to go through this. It conjures up all sorts of nightmares for the bereaved. And these tragedies always seem to happen around a favorable and peaceful time of the year for families. In our case, it was around the end of the year. We were having our traditional family feast out in the yard. The weather was quite kind to us then.

Everyone was smiling and there were jokes all around. There were also the usual debates about politics and jobs and how difficult the times we are living in are. Far too excited to notice, I suppose, most of us don’t realize that all of this, and some other very personal matters, affect the heart and soul of one very profoundly, sometimes quite harshly. My father was always a sensitive man. Being the apple of his eye, I never noticed just how sad he was. Not a day later after our wonderful family gathering, he was found hanging by the neck in his garage.

What usually happens straight after the death of a loved one is not necessary to mention here. Except to say that my husband made me so proud after he gave one of the finest eulogies I’ve ever heard. I’m closing this post on a more important note of surviving the tragedies of life. In our case, both my mother and I went straight into therapy. Today, my mother still does. And do you know what? She’s a brave woman. You should see how she lifts the spirits of others who have had a rough day.

I’m coping well too. But to be quite honest with you, I’m not too sure how I would have fared without my husband and my two wonderful children.