When there is no shortage of bad news

The dream was so vivid and terrifying, I remember it like it was yesterday. I was swimming in the ocean, far from shore, when the waves started tossing me fiercely. The first wave came, and I made it through that one. The second came, a little larger. But the third wave was catastrophic. I screamed “God help me. What am I going to do?” And then a man suddenly appeared next to me swimming. A lifeguard? Dark, short hair. Maybe 40 something. “Hold your nose and go under the wave. You will be fine.” Many things happened in my life in the months after that dream, some of which I cannot share.

Somehow, the dream served as a focal point for every heartbreaking situation.

This year has been full of bad news for me, my family and friends. Some things, again, I cannot share. People are private. Others involve illness, financial difficulty, car accidents, the pain of watching others in pain and feeling totally helpless.

What do you do when all the news you get is bad? Another devastation. Another phone call.

I have asked many over the years this question, especially those who serve in occupations that always intersect with a person’s devastation.

“Does it (the pain) ever leave you?” I asked.

“No,” they say. “You just learn to deal.”

I have noticed that such people seek those “life opportunities” and “chances to celebrate.”

We do get to that point where we say “I can’t even.” Can’t fix it. Can’t take it away. No money will make it better and well wishes seem to fall flat to the floor.

Deal. So we deal. There was a bailiff I knew who had the unfortunate opportunity of listening to the county’s worst murders and crimes, in court. Graphic. Families that showed up in tears. How do you get away from the stench of tragedy?

“I live an hour away,” they said. “So I load up on jazz.”

Music. Deal.

A physician who weekly has to deliver “the news of no cure,” travels. “Everywhere and as often as possible.” Sees new things.


An individual who has watched people die despite their best attempt to save them, says it does indeed follow them home. Movies. Drama. Comedy. Binge watching.


Another person is an empath. They seem to “feel” everyone’s pain, and despite their best efforts, cannot numb out enough to avoid crying literal tears in the bathroom for people and their situations over which they have no control.

“Church, art and music,” they said. “My friends know I struggle when they see me break out in art.”


Prayer. It helps, many have said. And science occasionally gives it a hurrah as well, tipping to the possibility the Creator exists and really hears His children.

I believe He does.


“Help others,” another said. “Do nice things for someone else, and it helps your pain.”

That person lost a son. What pain.


So, hey, just wanted to encourage you that you are not alone. Tragedy has not settled on your doorstep because of something you did. Unfortunately, it seems to be rampant these days. But we are all swimming right there with you.

Hold your nose and go under the wave.

We will all deal, together.

Have a blessed day. May sunshine abound today for you. May your senses be opened to the songs of morning birds. May blessing find you, no matter where you are today.

ocean water wave photo
Photo by Emiliano Arano on Pexels.com

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