Last week would have been my son's 10th birthday. On Tuesday my teen will be attending the funeral of a classmate who rolled his car while heading fishing with a buddy. Another classmate is now in a wheelchair after a wrestling warm-up in December and his family is deep in the battle with insurance companies. A friend's marriage is falling apart. Why?
First it is okay to ask why. God can handle it, He is a big God and can handle your anger and your questions. But know, that you may not get the answer in this lifetime and that is okay too. When I finally accepted that I wouldn't know why, I was able to move on. Secondly, sometimes life and circumstances can really suck (sorry for the terminology, but it is the truth!). Telling yourself, "This is going to be bad" helps-- it prepares you even when you are blindsided by tragedy.
Next, you have to take a deep breath, put on your big girl panties, and start walking, walking through the pain and the hurt. You can't hide from it or deny it, you have to go through it. Remembering to have a sense of humor and finding things to be grateful for every day, no matter what helped me tremendously. And yes, even on the day my son died I can list things I was grateful--caring nurses, a dear friend who took care of my other kids, being able to hold my son.
Finally, know that you can survive, even the thing that you think you cannot. And know that you will never be the same, but that is okay too, you can be better, stronger and if you allow the horrible thing to work in you, to change you, you may even be able to say one day that even though you don't know why you had to go through something so bad or why it happened, you are grateful for having done so.