Creating a New Life After a Crisis

Creating a New Life After a Crisis

In my recent interview with Sherri Mandel, she said “you have to use it to grow bigger…” (your difficulty/challenge/loss)  You can’t go back to who you were. “

This really spoke to me.

I, as many of you know from reading my blog posts, have witnessed the miraculous survival and full recovery of my daughter, Nava.  At the time, after her year-long hospitalization, I felt strongly that I could not simply go back to life as it was before this happening; to just pick up the pieces where I left off and continue on.  It didn’t seem right to me.  It felt like it would be stripping the year of its significance, of its awesomeness in all ways.

This experience needed to be dignified, to be significantly acknowledged.  It needed to be given its due respect by doing something meaningful and positive with it.

I was also obviously filled to the brim with gratitude.  I wanted to scream it out.

Miracles do happen.   And big ones too.  A testament to Possibilities where none seemed like the most probable at the time.

People do incredible things with their misfortunes and losses as many of my interviewees have demonstrated.  They’ve created meaning and gone on to help others through their loss, be it through foundations, programs, books, movies,talks.

I felt a need, an urgency, to do something with my miracle.  I wanted to take a traumatic experience that ended with the most positive, miraculous results and create something terrific out of it.

And so I was on my search for that elusive Something.   Those early years following Nava’s recovery, I lived with much angst.  I felt unrest inside and a lot of tugging going on in there.   I was also frustrated.  Yes, it was great to be back to ‘normal’ life again, but I had just been through something so abnormal and out- of- the- ordinary that it felt surreal to return to life as it had been Before.

I had to somehow recognize that experience in some way.  I needed to express it by doing something different with my life.

When we  go through a crisis, the focus is on  staying  afloat and getting through each day.  But when we’ve come through that dark tunnel and out into sunlight, we can begin to examine the path we’ve been on and look where we’re going now.  I was looking……

In my search and my new found urgency for living in the Now, I took on some meaningful projects and started actively pursuing my interests.

I joined a Patch Adams clowning trip; became a puppy raiser for a foundation that trains dogs who work with the disabled; started taking hiking trips, writing classes, mindfulness courses; took on some fund-raising projects and other endeavors that rang meaningful to me.

So no, I haven’t started an organization or written that memoir I attempted back then with the help of a collaborative writer and agent… Yet.

The quality of my life has taken on much greater meaning; the How I live is qualitatively different.  Living with a keener sense of appreciation and gratefulness kicks in those endorphins of excitement, interest, curiosity and passion.

I love being a part of helping people live well, because living lousy is all too easy.  Living well through and possibly because of one’s hardships and tribulations is the real challenge.  My path is one of helping people go through their pain and come out whole, not broken; as I once read, ‘better, not bitter.’

Some interests awaiting to be actualized:  start a library where there’s a need;  overseas service trip; speaking engagements telling Nava’s story.

I want to use my miracle to continue ‘growing  bigger’ and (I might add) better.   We are all a work in progress.  Let us each use what we’re given as our impetus to live well.


Thank you for stopping by.  Comments are welcome and sharing is appreciated.  And don’t forget to subscribe to receive these blog posts in your email. 


Looking for a speaker- I’m here (and there) to speak on a variety of topics from parenting to coaching to presenting in various support group settings.  I’ve been presenting at TBI groups; the next few weeks I’ll be presenting at Senior groups.  I am frequently doing my exciting parenting series of How To Talk So Kids Will Listen… And my close-to-heart group is parents of special needs children.

8 thoughts on “Creating a New Life After a Crisis

  1. Tara says:

    Awesomeness! I love the honesty and inspiration here… I appreciate that you have acknowledged there is a time for hanging on and getting through each day and a time, later, when change happens and we begin to live differently. Very recently I have started to feel that change. It’s strange, wonderful, exhilarating and awkward (all at the same time) and I am enjoying it! There is an amazing level of clarity regarding where my energy will go that wasn’t there before. All the garbage that cluttered life previously has suddenly… fallen away. Thank you for this reminder to live well.

    1. Hi Tara,
      Thanks for sharing. I’m so glad you’ve started to feel that change itching inside. May the garbage continue to fall away and be replaced with wonderful and exciting new…. feelings, endeavors, insights, etc. And may your energy continue to take you higher and higher.

  2. Elle Sommer says:

    Hello Harriet…I love that phrase you used ‘living lousy is all too easy’. That’s so true…the old habits of thinking, of being, of believing are so well ingrained that it takes a true desire to be different, to experience life differently, to move us out of the rut of ‘living lousy’. ♥

    Encourage one another.

    1. Hi Elle,
      Yes, old habits are hard to give up. We tend to remain in our comfort zone, be it for the good or bad. We must push through to get to the living well. And when you ‘see the light’ you keep going for more and more. There’s no end to the awesomeness of life. And there can be riches in struggle too.

  3. Karen says:

    Your blog post resonated with me. We cannot go back to who we were and must live a different life. I am happy for you that you received a miracle. I love the phrase ‘come out whole’.


    1. Hi Karen,
      Nice to ‘meet’ you. I’m glad this resonated with you. Thank you for your encouraging words. I will visit your blog.

  4. Kate says:

    Hi Harriet!

    I loved this post, particularly “living lousy is all too easy” and “better, not bitter.” I’m going to tweet them from my Twitter account (@_LitChick account) so that others can read your great post, too.

    In the meantime, I think I’ll also put them up on my bathroom mirror, HAHAHA!

    Sending you thanks and encouragement from Spain,

    1. Hi Kate,
      Nice to hear from you. I remember you – we spoke a while back. Thank you for the tweet. Glad this post spoke to you…. enough to put the lines up on your mirror!
      Hope you’re doing well. Are you baking?

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