Dear cold, cruel world,

tundra

I want to hate you but I can’t. You give us life, then throw us into the pit of despair with life events so devastating we cannot even function. Disasters that hit us like a stun gun, leave us shellshocked and wondering how we can make it through and live again.

We dig deep and fight through it

We fail, pray, cry, scream and shout. It deflates us in our dark moments and drags us into a pit of the unknown that we have to find our way out of.

You put people in our path to help us–people we would not have otherwise met if this terrible, cruel event had not happened. They are the gift.

You also throw at us moments of insurmountable joy–moments that cannot fully be appreciated without life experiences of having suffered. You help us find humility so we find love, compassion and most of all, appreciation.

Some don’t make it, having been crushed by the weight of the cold cruel world. They are in a moment where they can’t find that sliver of light that gives them the hope to keep going. These are life’s sacrificial lambs. And they don’t have to die. They need our help finding the light, yet we are often at a loss how to offer it. Some of us don’t wonder what to offer any more. We just know–our own loss having educated us.

There are times even the strongest human being needs help navigating the cold, cruel world. Ironically, that is their strength–knowing when to reach out for help and not apologizing for doing so. They cultivate their resilience, keeping it in reserve until next time it’s needed.

This is a skill set that only grows and matures with time but each of us gets some share of it at birth. Like many things in life, some get more than others with which to work with. Cold, cruel world nurtures it. Or crushes it.

Cold, cruel world, you know that’s what drives us. The legacy of those we lost is the inspiration that drives change and inspires love and compassion to fill our own hurt. It makes us stand up for underrepresented populations and re-energizes us so we can wake up and fight another day. It’s what keeps us from giving up.

Some of those cold, cruel world disasters you throw at us are about pushing us back together, forcing us to partner despite differences.

We don’t all suffer great tragedy

But I believe that those of us who have are given opportunities for teachable moments that are our responsibility to embrace. So the gift of the cold, cruel world is a ticket for a different kind of happiness punctuated by sadness–integrating our scars into the fabric of our lives to redefine ourselves.

“Our greatest wisdom emerges from our deepest wounds.” I guess that’s why cold, cruel world exists in the first place. That’s why bad things happen to good people.

Cold cruel world, I see now that you are the tunnel through which we have to travel to discover ourselves and see each other through a new lens.

This headline is in memory of and inspired by the writings of Jackson Forrest Ramsey who died by suicide at the age of 16 in 2010. 

What do you say to parents who’ve just lost a child?

Published by

Anne Moss Rogers

I am an emotionally naked TEDx speaker, and author of the Book, Diary of a Broken Mind. I raised two boys, Richard and Charles, and lost my youngest son, Charles to substance use disorder and suicide June 5, 2015. I help people foster a culture of connection to prevent suicide, reduce substance misuse and find life after loss. My motivational, training and workshop topics include suicide prevention, addiction, mental illness, and grief. As talented and funny as Charles was, letting other people know they matter was his greatest gift. And now the legacy I try and carry forward in my son's memory. Professional Speaker Website. Trained in ASIST and trainer for the evidence-based 4-hour training for everyone called safeTALK.

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