Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Shocking News

Several of my friends or relatives have recently experienced traumatic events in their lives. One friend lost two family members suddenly. A friend’s daughter was in a serious accident in another country. And two people I know received the diagnosis of breast cancer. All of these events are distressing, painful, and shocking to those involved. These are not minor events, but major and life changing events. They affect every member of the family.

Emotional reactions to crisis events are common but often misunderstood or even overlooked. Initially there is a period of shock and disbelief. Those affected may appear to be coping with the crisis while actually they are numb, acting strong or “putting on a smiley face.” Underneath they may be suppressing many feelings.

Later, when the reality of what has happened hits home, feelings spill out. The cancer patient and the spouse, for example, can then be overwhelmed with a variety of feelings - anger, fear, anxiety, and depression. Those affected may be facing, for the first time, their own and each other’s mortality. It’s essential for couples and families in crisis to give comfort and support to each other, talk about it, share the pain, even cry together. All of this is therapeutic. Journaling and exercising are also helpful in dealing with the many emotions that can almost overwhelm us in a crisis.

David Haynie, my nephew, and Kathy Haynie, his sister, are combining exercise and writing in a unique way that will help many. They have decided to walk in the Susan G. Komen sixty mile, 3 Day Walk for the Cure in Philadelphia, in support of Liz, Dave’s wife, who was recently diagnosed with breast cancer. Kathy writes about her experiences preparing for the sixty mile walk and Dave writes about the ups and downs of Liz having cancer. Their blogs are worth reading. To see Kathy’s blog click here.

Dave’s blog can be accessed from Kathy’s. I’ll write more next week about other keys that will help when in the midst of a crisis and beyond.

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and staff, they comfort me.” Psalm 23:4

Blessings, Dottie

No comments:

Post a Comment