Dread is the worst feeling. It's the knowledge that something's going to happen (or an approximation of what's going to happen), combined with the knowledge that it's going to be bad, combined with the knowledge that you can do absolutely nothing about it.

And there it stands, like a nail waiting to be hammered. It's just a matter of time before the weight of fate comes slamming down on its head.

There is a silver lining to dread -- you have time to prepare for the inevitable. At least it's not surprise and shock. When you're in shock, you deal with the situation, and then you have to deal with the consequences -- and by the time those show up, you're out of shock and feeling all the pain and duress of things after the fact. Dread beats shock because you get it all over with ahead of time.

The other thing that dread brings with it is the ability to reflect on both the before and after of the event. You can call it a chance to harden yourself, or a chance to grow and mature. I'm not sure there's really a perspective on it that's succinct. It is what it is.

To paraphrase Frost, the only way out is through. All you can do is hunker down and steer the ship into the wave. Turning away and shrinking from it will find you washed over and crushed.