Definition of shock
(1): a sudden or violent mental or emotional disturbance
(2): a disturbance in the equilibrium or permanence of something
Unadulterated shock and sudden bereavement are the only words I can use to describe the intense physical, emotional and spiritual pain I felt after Tony’s death. When a devastating event such as a sudden and tragic death happens unexpectedly to a loved one, your mind has no way of processing except to go into shock.
I could not eat, sleep, concentrate, or remotely think about anything other than his death. I ended up losing 12 pounds and could barely take care of myself. It consumed my every waking moment for several months. Eventually the minutes, hours, and days that I was counting turned into weeks and now months since his death. I hated that time was passing without him because it meant that it was a day/week/month since I last saw his face, heard his voice or felt his touch. I now reside in a place of comfort knowing I will eventually see him again. I know we are not promised tomorrow and I have come to an understanding of my own mortality.
I have the most amazing, wonderful and compassionate group of friends and family surrounding me with love and care. In the beginning they took over my phone calls, texts, emails, and Facebook accounts, they planned and prepped meals, they held me, hugged me, and cried with me. They took care of my house, yard, car, and especially my kids in the first few weeks and months. It’s now been seven months and the shock has worn and reality is ever present and I still have these amazing wonderful friends reaching out to me, checking on me, inviting me to lunches and dinners and events. Walking thru this agonizing pain with my tribe is mostly what got me here today.
I have days where it’s painful to get out of bed, I have days I cry in the shower for long periods of time, I have days where I am paralyzed and have a difficult time with concentration. Fortunately, those days are less frequent now as they were in the beginning. Fortunately, the pain, although immeasurable at times is less intense as it was in the beginning. Fortunately, I have spiritual leaders, mentors, friends, family, counselors and support to walk thru this season of grief with me. I’ve had the privilege of meeting some of the most amazing women who have all lost their husbands and we lean on each other for support and companionship. And…I have this blog/business that I have started to give me a cathartic way to process my thoughts and grief. I created these inspirational sticky notes to help remind me the power of positive self-talk.
In addition to the tremendous support I have received I also look for healthy ways to fill my void:
· Daily prayer and meditation
· Weekly grief counseling sessions with spiritual leaders
· Daily work-outs
· Weekly fellowship meetings to fill my cup
· Weekly food prep to avoid excess carbs and sugar
· Multiple conversations with my tribe
· Reading or listening to podcasts
I also know that it’s okay to sit in sadness if that is what I am feeling that day, I know that the pain will never go away, I know that I will continue to learn to live with it and I know that I will be okay no matter what happens. I know how to live more present than ever before. I know that I want to be kind, generous, and loving because we are only given a few precious moments and to fill my heart with hatred and anger won’t allow me to live the life God intended me to live. I also know that with my determination and grit I will continue to survive and inspire others to live intentionally and find their purpose.