As we experience suffering or pain or any injustice, it is normal for a whole cadre of questions to boil to the top. The answers cause many feelings and reactions in response. Our anger rises and falls based on the level of “unfairness” that we feel about the situation and it’s rude interruption to our lives. I still remember the emotional shock as I heard my doctor say, “The average IPF patient lives 2 to 3 years from diagnosis.” The story that unfolds next after any similar surprise is different for every person. The life you are living is your response to wrestling with these realities.
Struggling between acceptance and denial: The five stages of grief proposed in the well-known Kubler-Ross model are denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. This is a good framework if you are struggling with defining your feelings. I believe the normal person living with a tragedy of any kind experiences a daily up-and-down journey with all of these emotions. You will face a pressure, perceived or real, to appear like you’re holding it all together.
Renewed decisions about personal peace and meaning: Confronting your belief system and questions about faith will invade your thoughts and conversations to varying degrees. Your confidence in your answers may waver or be strengthened. How you answer the question, “Why me?,” will be reflected in your daily choices.
Avoidance or pursuit of relationships: We are not made to live in isolation. A community of people already surrounds you by your invitation and involvement. You will decide who you spend your time with by a process of prioritization based upon how you really feel. The natural tendency is to isolate yourself. Your health may limit you more and more, however, in this age of technology there are always ways you can choose to connect to others.
I want to encourage you to keep fighting through your trials and tragedies. Find someone who you can trust to process these different areas of your life with and who will listen well. Make it a priority to spend time with people that believe in the real you. I believe our Creator will lovingly reveal more answers as you faithfully search for them. I hope He allows our paths to cross in the journey ahead!