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Coping with tragedies

Farrah Goodall, Feature Reporter

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Losing a loved one or going through hardships in life is never easy for anyone, and I would know from personal experience.
There are ways to deal with grief though, and the counselors and students of MCHS have advice for high school students that are forced to deal with unfortunate events.
Recently I received the worst news of my life–my father had committed suicide. The first thing I had to understand after the shock wore off is that I did have helpful resources available.
Whether it is therapy, a school counselor or mentor, a coach, or a close friend, students I should not feel afraid to ask for help when it is needed.
Galloway said, “Every student experiencing hardship handles it differently, but that is why [counselors are] here. We’ve got your back.”
Senior Bryant Berch went through a tragedy at a young age and said, “I definitely became a big crybaby after the event; it was my way of coping, but my sisters and friends really took care of me.”
I was also reminded that life as with any major event is not going to go back to normal right away. There is a grieving process, and change is inevitable.
Galloway mentioned, “Grief is grief, and there is nothing wrong with being sad; it’s okay.”
Kovalcik said, “Time will help, but it will not erase the pain. Unfortunately it has to be dealt with, but that’s why we’re here to help.”
“What I have noticed is that being around positive people really helps. Positive people bring positive thoughts, and sometimes you do not want to keep thinking about how sad you are, so get around those kinds of people,” stated Berch.
The most important thing for students is to realize that everything will not go back to normal when they expect or want it to.
Change will be a huge aspect of their lives after the event as well as coping and adjusting as best as they can.
My first step of coping was giving the eulogy at my father’s funeral. When the date for the funeral was set I knew I had to give the eulogy.
It would be a symbol of respect for my father and give strength to my family– and was the only way for me to accept the reality of the situation.
Catastrophic life events had changed the course of my future. Once an event happens, there is no changing it;there is only a moving foward period.
Giving the eulogy at the funeral was the first step for me.
The second step was getting back on the basketball court and then diving back into school and all the pressures associated with that. I am not saying it is easy, but it becomes manageable with time.
As a good student, varsity athlete, and active social life, I have a lot going for me,and that is what keeps me going.
Everyone’s coping methods are different, though, and there is nothing wrong with those differences.
Berch said, “Getting involved helped me. I threw myself into my social life- it helped, but my grief was always there in the back of my head. Family and friends will dull the pain, but it takes time to heal.”
“Time will help, but it cannot completely erase the pain it is important to be patient with the process,” said Kovalcik.
Galloway mentioned, “You have to keep going the best you can and remember that if you need a break it is okay.”
Kovalcik also said, “Time cannot erase the good memories a person had with the person they lost. Reveling in those from time to time is important even if it makes you sad.”
Everything in life either happens for a reason or at least as a result of cause and effect.
With a hardship, it is up to the enduring party to decide what the effect is going to be whether good or bad.
In my case, I am choosing to use my situation to make me stronger instead of letting it defeat me.
It is acceptable for me to grieve, but I have to struggle through it and move foward as best I can at the same time.
Grief is a tricky obstacle in life that is unfortunate, but must be dealt with from time to time.
Life does go on eventually, and there are plenty of resources to help anyone in need.

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The student news site of Michigan City High School
Coping with tragedies