With the strike of an automobile, one year ago today tragedy struck our family. My niece was riding her bicycle with her father and her sister when she was hit by an automobile. She died instantly. A young man’s failure to brake resulted in a broken body and many broken hearts. It has been a tough year for my sister and her family. It has been a difficult year for all of us. But who we are as people is defined by how we respond in the face of tragedy. Do we respond with faith or do we answer with bitterness? I believe tragedy is a time to turn towards others, particularly our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. As I wrote in a past post: “The healing waters of Christ have a hard time washing away our hurt and grief if we keep it locked up within the stony tables of our hearts.” Christ’s suffering – His Atonement – not only helps us overcome sin and death, it helps us overcome sorrow and suffering and pain. His bruised and broken body can help us overcome the pains in our lives. The sorrow, suffering, and pain are not removed from our lives but their effects can be lessened in this life. We can even find joy amidst the hardship. Then one day, we have been promised that ”every tear today will eventually be returned a hundredfold with tears of rejoicing and gratitude” (Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin, Nov. 2008 Ensign).
I urge you to read what I wrote last year in response to Allison’s death. During that time our family was surrounded by so much love. The love removed some of the hurt. I also have a series of posts on lessons I have learned from death. These posts were written in 2009, before Allison’s death.