Life is full of perspective-changing moments. Saturday night I was out with a friend, and both of us were complaining about how much it sucks being single. We lamented how sad it was for us, even though we have friends, not being someone else's special someone.
When I got home from dinner, I found out that another friend had lost her partner of three years in a tragic car accident. Needless to say, I realized immediately that I had nothing to complain about "just" being single. After all, alone was a choice that I made for myself, not one that was thrust upon me through devastating circumstance.
The worst feeling in the world is the feeling of being powerless. I thought I had been feeling that so much lately, and I was, but obviously, I continue to be a very lucky person.
We put so much effort into preventing any bad feelings creeping in--so many unimportant things seem "life or death", and we fight as if we are trying to hold back the flooding waters that will surely drown us. However, on the occasion that things do blow up, you very often wonder why you were so concerned because, well…you lived. You made it through the hard part and the sun came up again. It's never quite so obvious as it is at a time like this.
My friend is a lot like me in that her instinct in this trauma was to just fix it. We fix things that are broken. We can't wrap our heads around situations that our own actions can't cure. While she will never, ever be able to "fix" what happened, in time it will become a part of the landscape of her experience. It will be a low point, to be sure, but being the person that she is, someone capable of remarkable things, I think that she will use this tragedy to fuel many, many future insights.
I wish she didn't have to.