Dealing with grief


In our little city of Duncan, Oklahoma, there has been a lot of big news in the last few years. Unfortunately, a good portion of that news was not positive at all. The school district especially was dealt some pretty tragic cards. In the last three years alone, we have lost three students to death: Hunter Vaughn, Alyssa Wiles and, most recently, Katherine Hruby. We also lost three students in a way most people wouldn’t think of as a loss — they were charged with the murder of Chris Lane.

As horrible as that is, that isn’t all the district has seen.

There have been a variety of other events that have devastated almost all of the Stephens County population at one point or another — whether it be losing a family member or friend, a role model, a daughter or a sister.

Those are tough times for anyone — no matter who one is. They are, after all, tragedies, and a tragedy is a lamentable, dreadful or fatal event or affair, calamity or disaster according to However, they are very important events in our lives. There is always something to learn from whatever has happened. However, one of the hardest things to do after a tragedy occurs is to learn how to deal with that specific circumstance.

Everyone has a different way of dealing with things, and most people deal with different things in different ways. Some people have difficulty finding ways to deal with difficult times in a positive way.

Dealing with tragedies oftentimes can become so overwhelming we lose ourselves to depressive thoughts and dark mindsets. The dark thoughts can begin to seem welcoming and can lead us, as humans, to do harmful things to ourselves and others. As a community, family or even individual going through the same thing, it is important to overcome those dark places and look for any good there is to be found — even when it feels like nothing good will ever be able to happen again.

When looking back on all of the tragedies, it is easy to see how the community bonded and continues to come together to rebuild. For instance, the community came together to remember our lost loved ones through candlelight vigils where we laughed and cried and saw people going through the same things. Also, after the Lane murder, the community was able to create a new scholarship for baseball players.

The good, happy memories and thoughts that are found in troubling times are what allow us to move on … but never forget.