Brett Jolly’s Daily Thought (Topic: “Dealing with a traumatic experience”)

Last night I got a call from my daughter, who is in her very first year of college. She called to tell me that she was feeling awful because she had just witnessed one of her best friends attempt to “commit suicide.” She told me that it was horrible to see and there was blood everywhere and she couldn’t get the image out of her head. She was extremely upset and she told me that she is now having problems studying for a test that she has to take tomorrow morning. I told her that unfortunately tragic events happen in life that we cannot control, and while they “never” happen at the right time it it doesn’t mean that we can just ignore them and they will go away. I told her that she should still (at least) “attempt to study for tonight, but I also told her that she needed to see a campus counselor tomorrow. I am fairly sure that the news of what happened has already spread through campus, and the university has options in place for those students who may be “traumatized by certain events.” It is imperative that they know what happened, because it is difficult for any college student to study “under those circumstances.” The same applies for anyone else who experiences tragedy in his or her life. The other day I got a call from a friend of mine who lost her father. She is engaged to get married but the passing of her father has turned her world upside down. I had to explain the same thing to her that I had to explain to my daughter. “Nothing” in life is “guaranteed.” Just as soon as something “enters” your life it can be taken from you “in an instant.” You can’t deny a traumatic experience, but you can’t hold on to it for life either. While one important part of her life exited she was getting a new addition with her fiance. I told my daughter about some of my life experiences and the things that I saw that also traumatized me. I told her that to this day, those images are still “vivid” in my mind. I can’t erase them, so the best I could do was come to terms with “accepting them.” As long as we all are human, we will have human ordeals to content with in life. If it helps to talk to someone about it, then by all means do so, but at some point life “has” to “go on.” I did my best to try to ease my daughter’s mind, but I know today will be a difficult day for her. For anyone experiencing any kind of traumatic event in your life, I hope you have the resolve to get it “out of your system” and continue with what you have “left.” No matter how hard we try, we can’t change the past, but we can surely make an impact on our future. Grieve if you need to, but at some point you need to continue… “where you left off.” Have a blessed day, everyone.

The late Gerald Levert and Brett Jolly in concert