Dr John Smith: Stormy times can arrive at any moment

Stormy times can arrive at any moment, says Dr John Smith
Stormy times can arrive at any moment, says Dr John Smith

The sun was shining, the sky an amazing winter blue and I was about to conduct a funeral service.

It seemed right, even good.

And then, suddenly, the clouds came, the wind blew and hailstones poured down.

The unexpected happened. In the circumstances it was nothing serious and for the mourners it somehow lightened everything.

But sometimes the unexpected changes everything when the gap between life as it was and life as it has suddenly become is huge.

The patient with what seems to be an innocent symptom is told they have cancer, worse still they learn it is incurable.

The policeman or woman on the doorstep brings bad news.

The fire engine that passed your door 30 minutes ago was speeding towards your husband’s car crash.

The house is empty when you get home, the person who you thought loved you has gone.

Your mind races against events, nothing can comfort you, for comfort must wait.

We try, for a time, to shut our eyes and think it is all a nightmare.

Thank God most of us have family and friends we can turn to, for they will turn towards us, and wrap their arms around us with concern and love.

If not, if we are alone then, hopefully, we will be pointed in the right direction where we can find support.

And heaven help us if we lose our sense of community that naturally reaches out to others.

A community that will sit and listen and never say it quite understands because every loss, every disaster, every unexpected turn of events is unique.

We can get close to how people feel but never close enough.

None of us are immune, we all have difficult and sudden events to face, but we do have each other and I thank God for that.