Through our lives, we find ourselves inducted into “clubs” of all sorts. Some of these clubs are ones of great memory making like schools we attended, sports teams we played on, and organizations we work in. I often hear brides-to-be bond over their planning and excitement (or for some, their war stories) of their pending nuptials and merging of families. Mommy clubs pop up everywhere as a way for new moms to connect and share experiences, insights and support to each other.

The older I get, the more I find myself in Tragedy Clubs. Clubs that seem to be filling up these days like, Motherless Daughters, Divorcees, Sandwich Generation, Navigating Elder Care, Loss of a Friend, and the Passing of a Pet Clubs. I’m sure you can relate to a few.

I am intrigued by how connected I can feel to strangers who appear to be experiencing what I have experienced. How I seem to find things to say to console, to assure them despite their feelings of aloneness they are not alone, and to give them the hope, that someday, relief from the agony of grief will come and how these simple words provide me a connection to another soul and helps continue the healing of my own.

As we enter into these clubs, we are stripped of the burdens of todays societal challenges and left with pure humanity. Tragedy knows no color, ethnicity, social class, gender, sexual orientation, p[political party, religion or belief. We are left with the comfort of another soul understanding what we are facing and what lies ahead, the peace provided by proof that time does help to heal, and the wisdom to recognize we are not alone.

My life’s journey has included the membership into many of these clubs and I honor them equally. As new members arrive, I greet them with open arms and for those who have yet to join, I forgive them for what they cannot comprehend. There are clubs I am fortunate to not have joined and hope to never need to but recognize those who have gone there before me and offer them wishes of peace and strength.

The Sunnyside: Embrace the happy clubs and capture those memories in your soul. Recognize that some clubs are unavoidable but that within them all is a gift to share with others. I am inspired by those who find it deep within themselves to rise up and be more, give more, as a result of tragic loss. In those responses are the legacy of the lost.