Tragedy & Loss – Dealing with Grief

Sometimes I feel like it would be better if I never read the news or the headlines. Maybe then I wouldn’t be bombarded with all the horrible tragedies and loss that have been affecting the world, specifically surrounding my city of Seattle. Last week I could not turn off the television as I watched the news unfold about the KOMO 4 News helicopter that crashed on the street outside my former office building. Over the weekend, as I spent a blissful day skiing in the sunshine with family and friends, I watched a woman leave a bouquet of flowers near the sign of a run where a man died the day before after crashing into a tree on the slopes. Leaving a wife and two young daughters behind. Then, as we are getting ready to drive home from our weekend away, we learn about a horrific landslide that took out over a mile of hillside, killing 16 people and reports of over 175 people still missing.

 All these tragic events make me think the horrible thoughts of what would I do? What would I do if it were my co-worker flying that helicopter? What if it was my husband who crashed into the tree? How would I feel if it was my families home destroyed by the landslide and my loved ones were missing? How do we deal with this grief, these tragedies and heartbreak? The first thing to do is remember, we can’t live our lives in “What If’s?” we need to deal with what is actually right in front of us. We need to be mindful and present with our life and not create catastrophes out of what is not real for us. We also need to remember to be grateful for what we do have, we need to realize that life is precious, so hug your loved ones tight and feel happy and blessed for what you have.

 During these times of tragedy, there still may be the feeling of helplessness and wanting to be compassionate and caring and help those in need. Prayers and kind words are one way to help. Another way to help others is the meditation practice of Tonglen, in the practice; one visualizes taking onto oneself the suffering of others on the in-breath, and on the out-breath giving happiness and success to all sentient beings. And of course, if you are able to help monetarily, that is another way to provide support to those in need. Here are some sites to help those in the tragedies I mention above, KOMO 4 News, Mission Ridge Skier and the Oso Landslide victims

 Thank you for reading, until next time, kg



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