So, today I went to a funeral, or rather a memorial service, for an old friend.  I’ve been to them before, obviously, more times than I ever wanted to, but today felt a bit different.  I realised that, although we have funerals to say goodbye to people we’ve lost, they’re really for the people left behind.  My friend, who had died, left behind 7 children, more grand-kids than I could count and so many friends we barely all fit into the building.

It was emotional, as all funerals are, with lots of hugs and tears; we all needed some form of comfort.  I suppose that’s what got me thinking; although it’s awful to lose someone in death, at least they no longer have to stress and suffer with all the problems life brings.

You may think it’s a negative way of looking at things, but really, it’s not.  I’m not saying that death is an easy way out, as many people suffer with feelings of low self-worth and thoughts of suicide, even I have at times.  What I’m saying is, death hurts people, not the people who die, but the people who now have to live without them.  It hurts people to see their friends grieving, unsure of what to do, what to say, how to act.

Death hurts the people who live, not the people who die, so, those left behind have to comfort each other, care for each other.  It’s hard to lose people we love; it’s hard to watch a grown man struggle through a funeral talk as he tries not to cry.  It’s hard to watch little kids clinging to their parents wishing they could see Nan again.  It’s hard, life is hard, living is hard, it always has been, but that’s what everyone has in common, Life.

Each and every one of us is living; each and every one of us is a living breathing human.  I know life is tough; it has been for me, for my parents, for my brother and my grandparents.  It’s hard for my friend’s children and grandchildren and all of her friends.  Each of us finds something hard, that’s just life, whether it’s due to loss of loved ones, health issues, mental or physical, or any other reason.

My point is, if we all find it hard, can’t we all help each other?

Therapists get training so as to help people with bad experiences and so on, but what better training is there than suffering that experience yourself?  Could you use those feelings and bad times in your life to help others with fresher wounds?  Do you have an illness you’ve learnt to cope with?  If so, why not help others who are newer to the problems you are now used to, give them advice and tips.  Have you lost someone you love long ago and gone through the terrible grieving process?  If so, can you comfort those who have lost people recently, give them help to cope?

I think one of the best ways to help yourself deal with difficulties, is by using them to help others.  I suppose that’s how I want to use this blog, as a way to help others through hard times, as well as to give myself a sense of accomplishment.

I like to think I didn’t go through all those horrible times for nothing, I like to think I can turn around bad things and make them good, use my own experiences to help others in need.

I know it’s not easy, I know it all too well, but don’t you think the world would be a better place if we all tried to help each other?

My advice to anyone struggling is to find a way to make others happy, there is so much more happiness in giving, than there is in receiving.

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