Traumatic events in our lives are usually the most transformative—whether it is nearly dying ourselves, the loss of a loved one, or some other calamity. It is sad that tragedy and heartbreak are often needed to initiate positive change in many of us.
These events may cause us to realize that we have been attracted to the neon lights of fame, fortune, and desire for far too long. We begin to see that the bright colors are artificial and without substance or spiritual quality. I believe that traumas can awaken us from a sleepwalk towards the spiritual desolation caused by a life driven by materialistic values rather than spiritual ones.
Tragedy often rekindles our compassion for others and expands our understanding of suffering. Traumatic events draw our spirit forth causing us to reach out to others, not so much to get support, as to give it. Not so much to grieve a loss, as to celebrate one life, and resolve to improve another (usually our own).
Our search for meaning in the loss of a loved one, more often than not, turns inward to seek how we can honor their memory, become better human beings, and truly live ourselves. These thoughts come, not so much from a fear of death, but rather to exalt life—to come to understand what is important in life, and in doing so, undergo a meaningful transformation for the better. The challenge is to integrate positive changes in us brought about by this transformation in a way that guides our lives continuously and irreversibly going forward.