Wendy's Blog

Why it’s so hard to get through the bad stuff

by Wendy Keller, writer, mother, survivor

Tonight, I read a book that isn’t published yet.  It’s about one woman’s 14 year struggle to integrate the death of her 20-something year old daughter.  It reminded me of my own journey, now +21 years working (hard) to integrate the deaths of my 4 yr old son and 18 month old daughter.  The editor asked me to review it and provide a quote, so I did.

I want to let you in on a little secret: I am well aware that none of this is easy.  Life is a struggle. It’s hard.  We all get hurt.  We get crushed, beaten up, abused, dragged around.  Trees fall on the heads of perfectly decent people after Hurricane Sandy.  I don’t believe for one minute that your life or mine is easy, or that you can just SNAP! instantly get over all the bad things that have happened to you.

Here’s what I do believe.  No, here’s what I KNOW: that you can eventually.  That’s it. That’s my whole point with all these blog posts. You can.

If you seek ways, you will find ways. 

It isn’t going to be a walk in the park for most of us.  That’s our tough luck.  But whether you believe in God or Allah, that suffering is a punishment, a test, bad karma, destiny or totally random, here you are.  You’re dealing with the stuff you’ve got and it hurts like heck.

There are people everywhere in the world who have suffered something similar to what you’re going through right now, no matter how rare you think your situation is.  Some of those people have been crushed by it – they are bitter or they commit suicide or they become bad people.  But there are also people who are getting through it.  They’re chipping away at it, moving the mountain one tablespoon at a time. I know because I’m one of them. I’m getting through it.  I don’t have any special bag of tricks.  I’ve just got this damn tablespoon and sometimes, I’m tired of living without my precious children.  Sometimes, I feel sorry for myself.  Sometimes, I don’t want to keep on trying to make my life and the world around me a better place.  But I know the secret to all of this. (Probably, so do you)  Here it is: just keep chipping away at it.

Just keep going.

Just get up tomorrow and see if you can do one thing differently. If you can add one more smile to someone else’s life.  If you can help one person.  If you can show yourself just a little more love and compassion.  If you can say one more positive thing, even if you’re not wholly feeling it.

Pretty soon, you’ll find out you’re making progress. You’re getting through.  If you’re really lucky, you’ll start to glimpse the light at the end of the tunnel – no, not an oncoming train!  But daylight.  You emerging into the sunshine again, ready to let your life refill with joy, peace, abundance and happiness.

It’s coming. Just keep going.  You’ll see.

Like my posts?  See the Categories on the right?

Click the one that best matches whatever you’re facing to find posts related to that topic.

Much love and good wishes.  You can do this. Promise.

  1. Elizabeth French says:

    I love your posts – I have had multiple losses over the past years and I struggle to be positive each day for my kids. (I lost my dad from Alzheimer’s, my mom from congestive heart failure, and my disabled sister to multiple diseases – all of whom I was care-taker for). I am a single parent, my boys are both grown now and I am looking at what will happen the remaining time I have here on earth. Thank you for always posting things that make me think! Love it!

    Liz French

    • Hi Liz,

      First of all, my sincere compliments on your fortitude taking care of so many loved ones. Wow! That’s a huge amount of work, no matter how much you love them all. Even down to your own sons – as a single mom since my daughter was 2, I know even that’s a LOT of work, stress, heartache, worry and energy expended. My “baby” is 20 and out of the house now, so I can only say this to the two of us and all who are in the same empty-nest: WOO HOOOOO! We did it!!! Let’s start now! Let’s celebrate our accomplishments! We did what we were assigned to the best of our ability – and now, let’s enjoy the years ahead, reward ourselves with love, comfort, good friends, nature, beauty, relaxation, accepting compliments and gifts, indulging in our creativity, living each day fully. We’ve graduated!!! Let’s roll!


  2. I love your posts also. So thought provoking, and many times – even if it so so very hard – they are action-provoking. Just reading your positive and encouraging words is like having that tablespoon in my hand. Thank you again!


  3. Thank You for the encouraging and insightful words or stories. I so totally need it! I struggle and am in need of having a constant connection with someone, or two, until I could feel comfortable to be on my own two feet again. Any suggestion would be appreciated.

  4. Wendy, I was moved by your words! “If you seek ways, you will find ways”. How powerful these words are! While it is true that one person can never fully appreciate the past experiences that have marked another, the invisible scars they carry within, it is important to know that we are often surrounded by caring individuals. Sometimes, all we need to do is ask for help…I applaud your strength as a mother and send you warm and loving thoughts. Thank you for inspiring me!

  5. I spent my 72 bd yesterday with my husband of 52years hearing that he developed AFIB from having temporal arterias an taking 60 mg of steroids , I could have cried to see how discouraged he was, than I realized how bless we both were, he has ME, an I have God, so I know we will make it. I do get down because I thought retirement would just be one big traveling experience for us, how selfish is that but you know I am learning to treasure each day making a flower garden for him too look at. I pray for courage to continue this voyage of life. Thanks so much for your inspiration.

  6. Thank you!….Thank you for sharing your experience and hope. I am going through a struggle and I can’t explain how some people are “understanding and show compassion”….and some, just “say nothing” Its in a time of crisis, we find out WHO really has your back….no matter what!

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