My friend Laurie is a brilliant woman, a doctor in astrophysics, an astrophotographer published in National Geographic, and responsible for over 700 employees in a high-security technology firm.
She was home one evening when her husband of 24 years (and high-school sweetheart) dropped dead right in front of her due to a massive heart attack. It doesn’t get much worse than that, does it?
It has been several years since this happened and we were talking last week when she said something that startled me.
“As bad as it was when Dan died, it could have been worse. I take some comfort in that.”
I was stunned. How could that be? I couldn’t think of anything worse, but she could. Here’s what she came up with.
1. He could have been alone. She felt that, if it had to happen, she was fortunate to have been there not only for him, but for her own peace of mind as well.
2. He could have suffered. He was practically dead when he hit the floor, allowing him the “luxury” of dying quickly and without pain or fear. We should all be so lucky when our time comes.
3. She could have been in the horrific position of having to “pull the plug.” I thought about that one and I couldn’t imagine having to do that for my wife, even though it would have been what she wanted given the circumstances.
Think about it. If Laurie could find comfort in how it could have been worse, considering what actually happened, I think we all can do the same with our own tragedies and hardships.
It can always be worse. Try to remember that when the chips are down.
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