There is so much tragedy in the world it is only fair for every individual to experience some in their own lives. Spike Milligan is thought to have said that and there’s no doubt that learning about others tragedies can help one to manage one’s own experience. We read that ‘pain is inevitable – misery is optional’.
Dr Tim Sharp gathered together a group of people who have each experienced a life changing tragedy. They wrote about both what happened to them and then explained their reactions, what they did, how they learnt to absorb the tragedy and to cope with the rest of their lives. At the end of each chapter Tim Sharp summarises their experience and discusses their various coping mechanisms
In a number of cases the people involved move from being the victim to being able to assist others – both perpetrators with their actions and victims with their traumas. It’s one thing to live through abuse, rape, murder or other trauma; many of the participants in the book are now authors and speakers who have moved on to help people recognise and deal with their life’s traumas and difficulties.
This is not an easy book. Some of the stories are hard to read, let alone to live through and one is left with amazed admiration for the resilience of the participants. The importance of listening to our friends – really listening and being there for them when they need help – is one message I took from one of the stories. Suicide is a scourge in Australia – it has been said that a third of single person car crashes may be suicides. And while the loss of any life in this way is terrible, the effects on the families and friends who are left behind can be an ongoing ordeal.
This is a useful book to keep close – you will be inspired by the stories and reminded that humans can rebound from even the most appalling travesties; not only recover but move on to help others.
|Author||Dr Tim Sharpe|