New Rockford Transcript - Official Newspaper of Eddy County since 1883

Eyes that see the good in things: Jan. 06, 2020


January 6, 2020

Sometimes the world that we live in makes it a little difficult to see the good in things when it seems like the bad news far outweighs the good. When those weeks come, I must confess that it’s hard to write this column.

There have been losses this week that have made me realize just how small a world we live in but it’s also enforced the power of human connection. There are people in the news who have suffered devastating circumstances, our family members who have suffered illnesses and death. My heart is hurting for them.

A recent message from a friend said she was heart-broken and asking for prayer for the son of a family that had been close to her family all of her life. What I didn’t know at that time, was that this young boy who was fighting for his life, would end up dying. And I didn’t know that his father and his uncle had already died.

This family lost three people lost from the same family, at the same time. The pain must be unbearable but the Caring Bridge posts made by family members, showed unbelievable strength. Their message expressed deep thankfulness for the support they had received from their community and from people far beyond their community.

The same thing can be said for the updates from Hunter Pinke’s family. Pinke is a young UND football player, whose life was drastically changed by a Colorado skiing accident. Yet, as his mother Katie Pinke writes the updates on his condition, she admits that they are sad and that, as his parents, they would give anything to be able to change places with their son, so that he could run out of that hospital. But they realize that their reality is different now and that their son will not be running from that hospital. They struggle to understand WHY this happened, but in the midst of the most trying and difficult times, they say that they see God’s plan unfolding.

She also talks about the good that she can see in their situation. “Something BIG is happening though and we feel it. God can take tragedy and pain and use it for good. When you’re in neurotrauma ICU, you see patients and families with much worse circumstances than you,” Pinke’s mother wrote in her daily update. “Today two strangers in the hallway asked to give me hugs. They shared their story and I shared ours. If you look for God’s love, you find it I was reminded by a friend today. It’s everywhere.”

“There will be good that comes from this tragedy,” his mother said. While they accept what has happened, they haven’t stopped hoping and praying for a better outcome. She also talks about how healing the messages of support are for them and for Hunter.

Reading stories like these, makes me realize how valuable human connection is at a time when a family is grieving a loss. Grief is an integral part of our human condition. All of us have lost or will lose someone we love. Our lives may have been forever changed by illness, injury or other situation. It is in our nature to want to bond and become attached to others. Grief is the price of those attachments of love that we make in our lives. How we deal with it has a lot to do with how we can put the loss into a broader perspective, that allows us to continue to live despite the engulfing void in our lives.

The question that seems to get asked over and over, is why did this happen? We try hard to make sense out of it, but we just can’t. One of the most widely read books about this aspect of grief is by Rabbi Harold Kushner, “When Bad Things Happen to Good People.” Kushner’s son died as a teenager of a rare progressive disease and he expresses this feeling of unfairness.

Yet, he chose to honor Aaron’s life by seeking to distill a blessing out of his pain and tears, in the hope that the book will help others who experience such an enormous loss: “I felt a deep, aching sense of unfairness. It didn’t make sense. I had been a good person. I tried to do what was right, so how could this be happening to my family?”

His goal was to have a book that could be given to a person who has been hurt by life, by death, illness or injury, by rejection and disappointment and who knows in his heart that if there is justice in the world, he deserves better.

Grief causes a profound disruption of biological rhythms. The hormonal and immune systems are affected, as evidenced by loss of sleep, appetite reduction, and weakness. Studies show a higher risk of death from suicide, accidents, cardiovascular disease, and some infectious diseases in survivors.

While many people handle grief well on their own, some have more difficulty in this struggle. Most people will benefit from using one or more of the sources of support that are available. The good news is that the majority of people who grieve recover to go on with their lives; they may be altered and radically changed, but they do find a way to continue to face the future. Experts say it’s best not to apply any time frame or outside expectations for this to happen; grief is a unique experience for each human being.

Therapists know that there is power in human connection during times of grief. Walking with someone who connects to your heart is powerful, soothing, and eventually healing.

You immediately see life with a different lens once “the diagnosis” is given, or when you hear the phone ring in the middle of the night. When the fire burns everything you cherish, or your spouse says “I don’t love you anymore, I want a divorce.” And you begin that long journey back to… back to where? Back to normal? Not really, because you are forever changed by deep loss and it becomes your new normal.

Walking with someone on their journey of grief means helping them on a journey to a place of healing. We will most likely make mistakes, or maybe say the wrong thing but the person you are connecting with will know if the intention is right. We don’t need to be as afraid of saying the wrong thing as we sometimes are. The main thing is to connect with their hearts. Grief has its own timetable and that timetable is different for all of us.

My heart is heavy today for all those in pain from grief but I will hold the light for you and hope you see the glimmer ahead.

We would love to share local stories about the good things your eyes are seeing.

Stop in to share your stories with us, give us a call at 947-2417 or e-mail us at [email protected] Or send a letter to Eyes That See the Good in Things, c/o Allison Lindgren, The Transcript 6 8th St N., New Rockford, ND 58356.


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