Choices While in the Dark

When life on this earth results in tragedy and loss – personal, communal, international – we are immediately faced with choices we did not anticipate nor plan for. An untimely death, an assault or abuse, financial ruin, a health crisis, relational trauma, anxiety: the list is endless. What do we do? Most of us want to just turn and run while we also know there is no place to run to or to hide from the turmoil within. So how do we take the next step forward when everything in us doesn’t want to and we are facing a challenge we have never faced before?

We remember that we all have choices even when it seems there are none. It is what makes humans unique. Referring back to my blog “Darkness & Light” and the thoughts from Jerry Sittser in his book  A Grace Disguised, when we choose to move towards the darkness knowing we will eventually see the sun rise, we find gifts along the way that we could have never imagined. But we also find more choices. Sittser cites Viktor Frankl’s Man’s Search for Meaning, reflecting on his time in a Nazi death camp and how “the prisoners who exercised the power to choose how they would respond to the terrible loss and darkness of their circumstances displayed dignity, courage and inner vitality. They found a way to transcend their suffering…and so grew spiritually beyond themselves…they learned that tragedy can increase the soul’s capacity for darkness and light, for pleasure as well as for pain.”

Just like Corrie Ten Boom related in her similar story, The Hiding Place, they found meaning in their suffering as they focused on the essence of who they truly are, a spiritual being. And also in knowing that pain, loss and suffering are part of life – and there is meaning in life. As I’ve written before, Sam Quinones discusses how this relates to addictions in Dreamland and our society’s increasing pursuit of a painless and pleasure filled life: a pursuit that is a dead end because it is not attainable by any method. We can delay, postpone and evade pain but ultimately it will still be there to be faced and dealt with. When we are trapped in any addictive behavior, even if it brings temporary pleasure and relief, there will always be a day of reckoning when the money or substance runs out, when whatever our addiction is becomes exposed, or when the consequences are unavoidable.

The pain from loss does not have to diminish our souls unless we choose to allow it. It can expand us in ways we are not able to imagine as we head into uncharted territory. Sittser explores this concept of our souls being able to experience both sorrow and joy, weakness and strength, despair and hope at the same time. Again, this all depends on our choices. One result of these choices he discusses aligns with what John and I have experienced as we embraced the pain of loss in our lives. That is, we have found that while we actually felt the darkness and despair of living in an imperfect world where our 25 yr old son died all alone, we have learned empathy for the spectrum of pain others are living with and we are able to not only feel compassion but to look for ways to help ease the pain and offer hope. This is a good thing for which we are thankful.

Author: Jude DiMeglio Trang

My husband, John, and I are parents of a young opiate addict who died of an accidental heroin overdose at 25. These are our credentials for writing and working towards reversing the exponentially rising statistics for opiate addiction and deaths in our country and the world.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Memoirs and Musings

David Bradley Such

Fit Recovery

Stay Clean Get Fit

Dave Barnhart

Church planter, pastor, author, coach


Just another site

Abbie In Wondrland

life...on Gods' terms.

Living In Graceland

"..learn the unforced rhythms of grace" matt 11:28

Janaburson's Blog

All about opioid addiction and its treatment with medication

Breaking In News Network

Seeking the truth and bypassing the MSM

Junkbox Diaries

Trauma, PTSD, Mental Health, Addiction, and Recovery

Ohio Society of Addiction Medicine

The Ohio Society of Addiction Medicine is a chapter of ASAM - A professional society actively seeking to define and expand the field of addiction medicine.


Addiction, Recovery, Loss, Grief

Opiate Nation

Addiction, Recovery, Loss, Grief News

The latest news on and the WordPress community.

%d bloggers like this: