I heard this quote on Criminal Minds yesterday and it is so true.
"Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls. The most massive characters are seared with scars." Khalil Gibran
I have had both the torment and the blessing of losing two children. Torment because I lost them and it tore my heart apart...but blessing because in the process I met many other parents who have lost children and each of them are 'massive characters' and I am lucky to know them. I believe that I have also become a better/stronger/more compassionate person because of their deaths.
I do not believe 'everything happens for a reason' but I do believe we can use a bad experience to learn and grow.