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The Aftermath

The other day I used the word ‘aftermath’ in front of my friend’s 9-year-old daughter Maya and she thought it a strange expression. I had just asked her mother what the aftermath was of the dispute she had experienced. Maya is a great math student and asked ‘Where does math fit in?’  I explained to her what I think the word means by saying it’s like asking about what happened. She asked why that word is used and then, I realized I was curious about the derivation, too. So, I decided to look up the term and this is what Free Dictionary says. They define the word as:

  1. A consequence, especially of a disaster or misfortune: famine as an aftermath of drought.
  1. A period of time following a disastrous event: in the aftermath of war.

Admittedly, I don’t think when I refer to the aftermath that they arise from calamitous events as the definition implies. But, the consequences of some of our interpersonal disputes – the ones that remain unresolved internally and externally – are difficult whether or not they may be described as disasters. In any case, this blog invites readers to consider the aftermath of an interpersonal dispute that continues to linger in some ways and upset you as you answer the following questions:

  • What happened in that dispute?
  • What is lingering for you about it?
  • What issues are most unresolved between you and the other person?
  • What are the emotions that you continue to feel? How is the aftermath effecting you most these days?
  • What do you wish you had said or done at the time?
  • What is your relationship like with the other person now?
  • What do you know about how the other person is experiencing the aftermath?
  • What would you like to see reconciled so that the aftermath wouldn’t be so difficult?
  • What is there to learn from the aftermath?
  • How might you improve the aftermath you are experiencing?
  • What else occurs to you as you consider these questions?
  • What insights do you have?


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