Reach Out to Others After a Tragedy

I don’t know about you but lately I hear more and more about another person taking their life as a result of a terrible life-changing event such as cyber-bullying, a scandal or a tragic accident that takes the lives of family members particularly children.

One such case was a mother, Jackie Hance, whose three daughters were tragically killed in 2009 when her sister-in-law (who was intoxicated at the time) drove the wrong way on a highway and plowed her SUV into another car on the way home from a camping trip. Also killed were the driver and her daughter and three others in the other car. Below is a photo of her family before the tragic accident.

Photo from Abc.go.com
Photo from Abc.go.com

Jackie shared in interviews her thoughts of suicide as she contemplated joining her daughters in heaven. She explained that what later saved her, among other things, was getting connected again with her girlfriends such as joining them for regular morning group runs. Through their support, she decided to try and have another baby and she and her husband are now parents of a beautiful 17-month old. She wrote about her experience and you can check out Jackie’s new book here at Amazon.com.

Another example I read about was how Bernie Madoff’s two sons handled the aftermath of their dad’s $65 billionPonzi scheme. Madoff was convicted and is serving a 150-year jail term for his horrendous crime and both his sons severed their relationships with him and their mother. Whether the sons did or did not know what their father was doing is not relevant here but rather how they handled this traumatic event afterward.

From-NY Post.com
From-NY Post.com

The younger brother Andrew, left,  chose to not read about the scandal in the media and instead leaned on his family and friends for support. He got back into regular routines and chose to stay connected with those he loved. He even more recently reconciled with his mother Ruth, which has been especially helpful as he battles another diagnosis of cancer, which he overcame years earlier after being diagnosed in 2003.

In contrast, Andrew shared in recent interviews, his older brother Mark chose to read everything about the scandal in the media and distanced himself from family and friends.  Andrew said Mark suffered from not leaning on others to support him emotionally and it unfortunately led to his suicide in 2010.

These two extreme examples are a good reminder healingtherapy

that no matter what is going on in our lives, we must not disconnect from others because it is their love and belief  in us that can help us get through the toughest of times. So stay connected with your loved ones in good times and in bad—it may just save your life someday!

Published by

Cher Vierra Knebel

Cher Knebel is a professional writer, blogger and founder of Living Happily Connected.com--a blog and website dedicated to sharing stories, happiness research and resources that focus on the positive impact of having close personal relationships and social connections. Join her community of happiness seekers and friendship promoters by visiting her website at www.livinghappilyconnected.com.

2 thoughts on “Reach Out to Others After a Tragedy”

  1. Cher, I love this article. We hear too many times in society that people disconnect from one another after a tragedy occurs. I’ve lived through it many times with friends. This is great reminder to stay connected, thanks!

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