I choose life. And life chooses me
I didn’t plan to write on this topic, until I rested my fingers on the keyboard…I have a hundred topics to choose from, but this is what I need to express right now…(thank you brain for engaging at a much more civilised hour)… We can’t measure the depth of our trauma against others. All that is true, is that your trauma is a crisis for you – an obstacle to overcome in order to progress with life. It is no more or less than anyone else’s.
“The present crisis is always the worst crisis” -Elaine M. Prevallet
Last year, a month after Scotty’s death, at a work Christmas party, a colleague was retelling a story of how her friend’s cat had died. Her friend was bereft. She went through an intense period of grieving and depression. My colleague was bemused (clearly not a cat lover) and apathetic. She couldn’t reconcile the death of my husband to the loss of her friends cat. I understood her friend’s grief immediately. Suddenly she had a huge hole in the fabric of her life – and that, I can identify with.
“The problem with death is absence” -Roger Rosenblatt
To let go of a loved one is one of the compromises we are forced to make with life, and our longing for them sometimes makes the prospect of our own death almost alright. Scotty has a best friend, who is also Scott. We are close. One day after Scotty’s death, we talked about suicide. He said, “You’d never do anything stupid like that would you?” I said, “No, I’m too strong”
I’ve felt depressed before, but nothing like the overwhelming waves, the rollercoaster that took over and occupied my being for several months this year. My journal entries weren’t the thoughts of a peaceful mind…
…Today I woke up thinking about death
…Today I feel like half a person
…I feel paralysed
…I’m falling apart, I’m barely breathing
The picture below explains the paralysing effect of depression. I chose to be in the dark place. I wanted to be there. I would have stayed there if there was food and water. If someone had tried to pull me out, I would have punched them in the head. It was a process I needed to experience. But I didn’t realise how bad a state I was in, until I was out. And this is the scary part. All I can advise is, if you recognise these signs in anyone, that it’s your duty to ask the question. Its your duty to build them a nest.
Every morning I do 5 yoga poses called the 5 Tibetans. Every pose has an affirmation. I added a 6th in an expression of gratitude:
I choose life and life chooses me
I feel grateful to have my friend, Diana, who sent me this book, which has been a constant companion. Many of the quotes from this blog are quoted from this book. I wholeheartedly recommend it: Healing after loss, Daily meditations for working through grief – Martha Whitmore Hickman