I suppose it's that I'm just getting older but all of a sudden it feels as though everyone around me is facing some life altering event and more recently quite a bit of it has to do with illness and / or unexpected death. I'm sure this has a lot to do with how connected we are through social media, and my age, but it truly feels as though something tragic is happening to almost everyone I know. In my head I know that's not actually the case, but as I read though my friend's posts I just feel so much sadness and honestly, I just keep wondering if we are next.
The truth is that if something happened to either my husband and I or the kids (just writing that brings me to tears) we would be fully unable to cope with it. I can guarantee you that I would be the person in the dark room with my prescription bottle and that would be how I move on. I'm not sure what my husband would do, but as the consummate overachiever I'm sure he would most certainly find a way to grieve with dignity but would turn completely inward.
I guess it's unreasonable to think that you would have the skills to deal with something like the unexpected loss of a partner or loved one unless you have actually faced such adversity. We've experienced some difficult times together, like my infertility and my husband's chronic pain, but those things pale in comparison to the loss of a loved one. They also pale in comparison to things like mental health issues, violence, divorce, sexual assault, incarceration and yet these are things that people are facing on a daily basis, and I can only imagine how lonely of a place that must be to exist in. I really don't know how I would handle any one of those life events, or having a family member facing any one of those adversities and that's not okay because the truth is that someday someone I know likely will and, yes, it could be us.
This is why I cannot say enough about the new book and site Option B. Option B is the brainchild of Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant and the organization is is dedicated to helping build resilience in the face of adversity. The idea is that once you have the tools yourself, you can then teach them to your family, friends, and community to help them also build resilience. The idea grew from Sandberg's sudden loss of her husband and it really is such a remarkable thing to come out of so much sadness.
I encourage you to check the site out for yourself, but it starts with a place for people to share their stories. It's then divided into categories which allows you to hear from others who have gone thorough something similar to what you may be experiencing. I read this piece by the Krim family earlier today and it was touching and moving and comforting and to see a family find light in so much darkness, it's truly inspiring. Beyond the stories there is an opportunity for people to join a group of others who are facing the same adversities, who can then become a support for one other. There is even a section on building resilience, and this is where I plan to spend most of my time. There are videos and Q & A's with experts on various topics related to resilience. This one on raising resilient kids caught my eye and I plan on exploring more topics on the site.
We prepare for pretty much everything in life but prior finding this site I never really felt like there was a way to prepare for the unexpected. I tend to get through life bartering with the universe through gritted teeth and it's nice to know that if the bottom ever did fall out there would be a community to turn to and I can only imagine how much comfort a space like this would bring. I hope that this site continues to grow and to flourish and becomes a first stop for those who are faced with the unthinkable. Maybe because of what Sandberg and Grant have created we will all be just a little more resilient when we get there. Xx