From A GRACE DISGUISED: HOW THE SOUL GROWS THROUGH LOSS by Jerry Sittser who lost his wife, 4 year old daughter, and his mother in a car accident.
“…..Though I experienced death, I also experienced life in ways that I never thought possible before—not after the darkness, as we might supposed but in the darkness. I did not go through pain and come out the other side; instead, I lived in it and found within that pain the grace to survive and eventually grow. I did not get over the loss of my loved ones; rather I absorbed the loss into my life, like soil receives decaying matter, until it became a part of who I am. Sorrow took up permanent residence in my soul and enlarged it.
I learned gradually that the deeper we plunged into suffering, the deeper we can enter into a new, and different life—a life no worse than before and sometimes better. A willingness to face the loss and to enter into the darkness is the first step we must take. Like all first steps, it is probably the most difficult and takes the most time. We do not always have the freedom to choose the roles we must play in life, but we can choose how we are going to play the roles we have been given.”