Sarah Morgan

Healthcare Geek.
Professional Communicator.

This Week in Bad News: Looking to Learn

This week has been breathtaking. Just this week:

A friend learned her little girl has a spinal tumor and is being rushed by neuro-oncologists in for surgery.

A friend’s son was murdered.

Someone was arrested who had fooled me and my friends completely.

The ice storm caused my aunt and my friend’s dad to get hurt badly (one ankle broken in three places, one set of bad bruises). And a distant cousin (second cousin once removed, technically) was killed in a freak accident.

And, of course, with unemployment the highest it’s been in 15 years, about a dozen friends are dealing with layoffs and pay cuts. And Tracy remains in the ICU.

I, and a lot of people I know, are reeling. And these are not my stories to tell, so I feel squeamish even putting them here. But what’s more to the point, they are not my stories, you know? At least for the moment, my own comparative good fortune is humbling, almost shameful. All I seem able to to is be there for the people who need it, be grateful and thankful and worthy of whatever tragedy I am spared right now, and try to learn.

So today, Gary‘s “Turning Negatives Into Positives” vlog caught my eye, given the above. Of course, it’s not actually about major life crises. He’s talking about how to handle a crisis using social media, and how you can’t wait for a standard PR response anymore – using his own example of his site getting hacked (again, this week).

But I have to think that this has lessons both ways – yes, in terms of how social media can help in a business crisis, but also to think about what this could tell you about how to handle bigger things in life. I’m probably reaching, trying to make sense of it all, but I think there’s still something valid there.

Because I think that the point is, either way, that when something goes wrong, you have to talk about it. Figure it out as best you can, commiserate about what you can’t fix, share what you’re thinking and feeling, and for what you can do something about, get on the ground and fix it. Don’t wait till you can do it right, don’t wait till you have the right words, because you might not ever. Just be thoughtful and active. Do you agree?



“Just be thoughtful and active.” I heartily agree Sarah. It’s less important to say the absolutely right thing, than to say something. I think we forget that it’s not our words that are necessarily comforting, but the fact that we care enough to show up.


I’m sorry to hear about the difficulties your friends/family are experiencing now.

I agree completely with your last paragraph because it’s not just about finding a solution on our own and marching forth, but gaining strength from our support systems, whether in-person or through social media (and through friends like you!)

Alasdair Munn

Your post really has put things into perspective. You are right, we can let events overcome us, or we can be proactive in seeking solutions, clearing our minds, shaking it off and participating in life.

As a person immersed in social media, using its tools and its communities to get out there and be progressive makes sense to me. Others turn to what makes sense to them and their lives. The main point here I have gained from reading this is to use the tools and communities we have to hand to ensure we work things through and come out the other side stronger.

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