May the road rise up to meet you. May the wind always be at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face, and rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again, May God hold you in the palm of His hand.
-Irish Blessing

Monday, September 30, 2013


Two years later and here I sit in front of my computer typing the word "relapse".  I can't put my finger on it but I'm fairly certain that I am experiencing a relapse of grief (from which son, who knows, my guess is Eli).  It's not that I find myself staring at pictures or holding their things.  Not at all.  I suspect it from the way I feel.  The feelings of isolation, of no one understanding me, the feeling of just wanting to crawl into a shell for a while.  The tears that are constantly beneath the surface but barely spill over.

I don't know the whys and the hows for this one, I am taken completely off guard.  There are many possible triggers in my life right now so it could be any one or a combination.  I've been feeling off for weeks now but it wasn't until after I was able to have a really good cry while looking at Eli's picture (my one and only really good cry for a long long time) that I admitted what my subconscious had been thinking to myself and out loud.  I was pretty sure that the grieving process just wasn't done with me yet.  My good friend the internet was very helpful in letting me know I'm not crazy and that perhaps I didn't fully grieve after Eli's death.  That seems possible, if not likely, considering I had three young children to look after and in the grand scheme of things my life only stopped for a moment for me to grieve before I was plunged head first back into the harsh reality of daily life outside my cocoon of sadness.  I can't pinpoint any particular thing that I didn't grieve but that's the funny thing about grief I suppose, it's different for all of us in every way, shape and form.  I'm different than the first time I grieved the loss of a son so my grief was very different the second time around.

I'm writing this though to let you know that it can happen and that if it does, it's important to tell someone.  I felt ashamed that this could be happening to me so far down the road but shame doesn't solve problems, it only creates more.  I'm looking at this like a very small and untimely speed bump on my road and I will work my way over it just like I have all the others.  One of many.  One of many.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Resiliency is Not Bouncing Back

I just read a magazine article about resiliency.  Gold medal winning athletes who had faced great adversity (deaths, disease, injury in their lives) said that had they not faced those struggles they wouldn't have won their gold medals.  They also admitted that during the adversity they had the same questions as I have, the "why" as in "why is this happening (to me)?" and the "how" as in "how am I going to make it through?"

Resiliency is the ability to become strong, healthy or successful again after bad happens according to Merriam-Webster dictionary.  For physical matter it is the ability to return back to its original shape after being stretched out.  The first definition is very separate from the second.  The article went on to say that the United States military has now embraced mental resiliency training instead of just physical.  It expanded the need for resiliency to all of us as training to handle great times of stress or difficulty that will inevitably arise in our lives.  Resiliency is not just a trial by fire lesson, it can be taught and learned.  (An internet search on this topic will yield lots of great information on resiliency which I highly recommend.)

Before losing Wyatt I realize that I had no real concept of loss or the resiliency it takes to survive that loss.  I became resilient.  It was a long process but one I started emerging on the other side I realized that if I could survive losing my first and only child (at that time), I could survive pretty much anything.  It is a mantra I still cling to with double emphasis since I have now lost my only two sons.  The resilience of surviving those extremely traumatic events in my life has left me forever wounded but has also imparted many gifts.  One is confidence.  The confidence I speak of above, where I know that I have survived some of the worst things that can happen to a person and I will continue to survive and find ways to thrive through difficulty.  The words "bring it" have new meaning and intensity.  That's not to say that I don't struggle and find myself crawling through the mud.  I do.  Sometimes often.

Another of those gifts is trust.  I am, by nature, very distrusting.  I'm a type A, do-it-yourself, kind of girl.  So it is often difficult for me to trust others or trust that things will somehow work themselves out, whether for better or worse.  I just want to make what I want to happen actually happen.  I've talked about this many times.  That's one of the reasons Potter's was so very devastating to me.  Because there was NOTHING I could do at that time to make anything happen.  I've learned to take pride in my values, the things that I hold dear to me, to do the best that I can and then....let it go.  Gosh, that's so hard and a constant struggle for me.  But I'm learning.

Trust and confidence haven't made my life rosy nor have they given me rose colored glasses.  They are sources of inner strength and their voices are louder than the ones that tell me to stop when things get too hard. It's hard not to think of the great Timex phrase because I just keep on ticking no matter what comes my way.  At the end of the day my body may feel broken and my spirit weak but come next morning I will get up and do it all over again.  That is resilience.  It's not bouncing back, it may be crawling, clawing or scratching your way out of whatever darkness has its grips on you and you may not find yourself "back" in the same place you started and that's okay.  Resilience is only the ability to become strong, healthy or successful again after something bad happens and that something bad will have not only changed you but changed your view on the world around you.  Resiliency is the ability to grow and adapt over time.


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