The lyrics of "Some Nights" (on the album titled Some Nights) by Fun. are intriguing and I was particularly intrigued by the line "Man, you wouldn't believe the most amazing things that can come from. . ./Some terrible nights. . .ah. . .ah. . .". Given the lines that precede these, it's fairly easy to divine the "amazing thing" is the nephew. But I just couldn't get that idea of amazing things coming from something terrible that stuck with me. Because it's often true.
Let's just agree that "amazing" and "terrible" are relative. In the moment, terrible can feel terrible. It may take a while before we are able to realize or recognize "amazing."
I remember one of the first times I lost a job. It was horrific. It was shocking and seemed impossible. As time went by and I became more accustomed to the idea, it seemed less horrible. My time of depression, however, was a delayed reaction. But when I was able to turn the emotional corner, I regained my confidence and perspective. Then I got a job that seemed tailor-made for me and that enabled me to grow in ways I'd never imagined.
Losing a job is not the most terrible thing that can happen, I know. There are those who have experienced truly horrible and inexplicable loss. There are some folks I've known who have gone through a situation that is, for that person, terrible. Perhaps it didn't seem so terrible to me, but I wasn't in it or experiencing and didn't have the context. So yes, in the moment, terrible can feel terrible.
I also think that the amazing can sneak up on us. That we may not recognize the amazing until we are experiencing it or until we are able to glance back over our shoulders to see how far we have come, to see how we have endured, to see what we have learned, to see how we have grown. That which is amazing may not be what we expect or what we want.
The Dalai Lama once said, "Tragedy should be utilized as a source of strength. No matter what sort of difficulties, how painful experience is, if we lose our hope, that's our real disaster.”
I wonder if I will feel the same way if I experience something truly tragic. I hope so. I hope that I will come through the season of denial, anger, and depression with some perspective and ability to look for the amazing. I hope that I will be able to remember that sometimes the most amazing things come from something terrible.