My sister is amazing. I really love her. One day, her husband collapsed suddenly and died. An undetected brain aneurysm burst. They say that it is the most peaceful way to die. You fall asleep.
My sister is very strong. Left to raise two children, ages 7 and 9, she is the epitome of grit to me. When I am tempted to complain sometimes, I try to think of her.
I love her children. It was my job to tell them that their father had died.
I try to listen to my sister. She is now doing advanced studies to be a family therapist, now that both children are nearly out of the house. So, when she recently sent me a book to read, saying it was important, I did so.
The book is Viktor Frankl’s Man’s Search for Meaning. Frankl’s survived four concentration camps, including Auschwitz. His parents, brother and pregnant wife all perished. As a psychiatrist, he employed his training to adjust and try to cope with the brutality, oppression and de-humanization he experienced.
Once out, he wrote his book in nine days.
For me, it was particularly gripping to read the sentences about how it is possible and critical to find meaning in suffering (I coincidentally blogged about it last week here). And, that we human beings always have the power to choose our responses to adversity.
Frankl compellingly writes how the camp inmates who lost hope tended to become ill quickly and perish. He documents his own path to find peace in the smallest pockets of hope amidst the sea of evil.
It is a great book.