“When you stand and share your story in an empowering way,

our story will heal you and your story will heal somebody else.”

Dr. E.A. Ross, the pastor of Asia Cottom’s church, shared his thoughts on how her death affected those around her. “My hope and prayer is that what her parents and all who love her went through, healed from, and learned will bring comfort and relief to others who travel down the road of loss.”

Healing from tragedy is the hardest work we will ever do. Furthermore, no one can be the same person before and after a tragedy. A sudden death, particularly one through violence like Asia’s, changes us in fundamental ways that we cannot even begin to comprehend until we go through it. However, the process of healing from a tragedy is so powerful that it generates strength not only to those who go through the recovery but even to others who have yet to deal with their own life tragedies.

The pain you are suffering today may have a purpose years down the road. When someone loses a child, the pain is so great that it is almost impossible to bear. Time does not “heal” that wound but it does cause the grief to take on a different characteristic. When someone years from now is suffering from nearly unmanageable pain through the loss of a loved one, you will be able to say to them with certainty, “I have been where you are. I know what you feel, and I can tell you it is possible to come out the other side stronger than ever before.”

No one wants to negate a parent’s grief. However, the initial shock and pain will one day give way to a different feeling that will allow you to be strong for others who need you. By becoming a stronger person through your own tragedy, you will be able to give help to those who need it and help them struggle through their own time of sorrow and darkness. Eventually, that strength you built through the hard work of grief will bear fruit through your support of someone else.

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