Sefer Vayikra does not contain too much narrative. There are plenty of laws, procedures and words to live by, but very few stories. Parshat Shemini contains one of the stories. It is opening day of the brand new Mishkan (apropos for this time of year) and we learn of a terrible tragedy with the deaths of Nadav and Avihu, the sons of Aharon Hakohein. Moshe guides his older brother through this unfathomable tragedy in the best way that he humanly can. All we see from Aharon is stunned silence. He was in shock and could only be silent.
Sometimes in life, the most we can muster as a response is stunned silence. There are sometimes simply no words. Aharon continued to serve as a leader of Bnai Yisrael, but one must surmise that he could not have been the same from that point onward.
Interestingly enough, he did have where to go for counseling. His sister Miriam had also lost a son during the episode of the Golden Calf. We are told that her son Chur tried to stop the rebellion, but was murdered by a mob of people who were in a frenzy.
When we think of the tragedy in this family, along with what seems like the failure of Moshe's two sons (who did not amount to much in the Chumash), it is amazing that they got anything done! Yet, here they were, three siblings who served their people faithfully despite their own personal suffering.
Ultimately speaking, we will not be judged by what happens to us in life, but by what we do with what happens to us in life.
May we all merit to live long, fruitful and meaningful lives.