I believe in finding beauty through pain

Author: Kaitlyn Turney, TCU Student, Speech Pathology Major,Published fall 2012

I believe that grief can be crushing yet healing, bounding yet freeing. Through grief you become utterly lost but through the journey find yourself. The hardest times of life can be oddly beneficial and mold you into your future self, for better or worse.
October 12, 2010 was a day like any other: beautiful, peaceful, normal. Then I got a phone call that would change my life forever. “Your brother is no longer with us,” my dad says. My mind cannot comprehend this because he was only 17. How is it fair for his short life to be over? To make the situation worse, he took his own life. Questions upon questions will remain unanswered. “How can you do this to your family? Your friends? What right do you have?” Anger, sadness, bitterness washed over me and seeped into every pore.

No mother should have to bury her child. No father should see his son’s life cut short, especially by the son’s own hands. There’s no manual on how to process these types of conflicting emotions.  Every person close to my brother put some blame on themselves. “Did I miss a sign? Could I have prevented this? Did I push him over the edge?” But in time, one has to try to realize that there’s nothing anyone can do now. What’s done is done and playing the blame game will eat you alive.
Months of depression, sleeping days away, being haunted by constant memories and grief, struggling to function followed and still hit at times. Experiences like this push you to your limits and reveal how resilient you are and helps you realize how strong people can truly be. Did I bounce back instantly? Of course not. My ideology, faith, and essence of my very being were challenged. While everything in life was being torn apart, I slowly figured out how to put it back together and form myself into a person of greater empathy and love.

The journey through this pain and turmoil is one I am still on. Life as I know it and figuring out what I believe is still a work in progress, but there is satisfaction in being stretched to every extreme and learning the depths of my soul and mind. Am I glad this tragedy occurred? Frankly, no, but I know I would not be who I am today and have as much compassion if it did not happen. I am still not sure how I feel about that but growth still occurs.

Through this journey, I have come to realize that even through all the pain and suffering in the world, life is still inherently beautiful. This faith and outlook makes life worth living and brings joy on the most sorrowful of days.