Life worked out, just not the way I thought it would

May 20, 2024


It worked out, but not like I thought it would.

Oh my gosh, is that true or what?

We can make all the plans we like, but two roads are always going to diverge in a yellow wood. Or more. And the wood may not be yellow. It might be brown. Or green.

There’s no guarantee that whatever path we take will take us where we think we want to go. It may take us someplace better. Or more challenging. It might be circuitous. Or even blocked.

I used to love it when people would say to me “I don’t believe in divorce.”  Well, who does? Who starts out their married life saying, “Well, we can always divorce!”  Oh sure, maybe a few. But not many.

We can do the best we can to plan, but the truth is, life happens and sometimes (most times?) the turn of event is completely unexpected.

Our happiness depends on our resilience. Can we cope? Can we bounce back?

A few instagram folks I follow are dealing with horrible and quite unexpected diagnoses with terrible effects. Like the horrors of ALS, in which bodily abilities and functions are lost as the disease progresses, and sometimes quickly. And yes, what they have will kill them sooner rather than later. I don’t know them, but every indication is that they are resilient. They’re using what they learn to teach the rest of us. Adaptive devices. Attitude shifts. Talking with their children.

In the back of my mind, I’m thinking, yeah, this is just the type of person who eventually takes their own life. And maybe they will, one day. Maybe it will get so bad that they want to move on. Is that such a bad thing? I don’t know. I suppose it depends on what you believe happens next.

But my point remains: life is less about what happens and more about how we respond to it.

I think of a close friend who lost her baby in a tragedy of epic proportions. No one would’ve blamed her for withdrawing from life. Which she did, for a while. And then? She picked herself up and found a way to go on with life and thrive. Does she always remember her little girl? Yes she does. Is she still sad? Of course.  Grief is not something we ‘get over”. We get through active grieving. Eventually. Usually.

But grief is always there. It just doesn’t have to define you. Just as her loss did not define her. What defined her is her response. The resilience she built. And trust me, she’s had to call on that a time or two, since.

So back to the headline: Does life work out for everyone?

Well, not everyone. But for many it does, even if it doesn’t look like it does. People who get sick and share their journey are helping others.

My friend has demonstrated that it is possible to live through what might be the worst tragedy a parent could experience. And I see so many others, also inspiring me with their courage in the face of adversity. Rising to the occasion.

And these are the people I think of when the dystopian world we live in gets to be too much for me.

Have you checked out the grief and healing tools in my shop? If not, take a look here. You never know when you might need a thoughtful little something or a gentle, pretty condolence gift.

6 comments on “Life worked out, just not the way I thought it would
  1. Laurie Stone says:

    There’s so much sadness in the world, it’s almost overwhelming at time. I guess all we can do is our best everyday and take what comes. I can’t imagine living with some of these diagnoses. Truly heart-breaking.

  2. Meryl says:

    Your post rings too true. Take one day at a time. ‘Man plans, God laughs.’

  3. Beth Havey says:

    I think you know that my father died when I was 3. Mom had a 6, 3 and 3-month old to raise. And she was incredible. Yes, I often missed my father…but I grew up with a mother that in so many ways was the absolute best. I know if I had also had a father…I would not have had as much of HER. It’s an odd way to think, but it is truth. Thanks for your post.

1 Pings/Trackbacks for "Life worked out, just not the way I thought it would"
  1. […] You can make all the plans you like, but sometimes, fate has something else in store for you. That’s what Carol Cassara writes about this week in Life worked out, just not the way I thought it would. […]

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