[Photo credit: April Joy Photo]
We are drawn to tragedy… except when it is our own. Then we fight it or we run.
I wanted to run.
But I couldn’t, and I still can’t. Partly because I am scheduled for monthly lab draws to measure my blood levels, partly because we are still searching for answers, and mostly because of who I am. I am a finisher - a dig in and get it done even when it hurts, even if I really shouldn’t - kind of person. I am strong and I wish I wasn’t. I wish I didn’t have to be. Really, I just wish I was the stay up all night with a crying baby then brush my teeth and head to work kind of strong. I am not. I am a sitting in the pain, delivering in a room absent of cries except for my own, smiling even without answers, kind of strong. I wouldn’t choose this kind, but there wasn’t a choice.
It feels as though we were picked up, spun around and thrown into a new direction. In an instant. In the silence where a heart beat should have been. As much as we wanted to run back toward the other direction, the other life, it was no more. It is a path that will never be found.
So I fight.
For anyone walking through our basement it would appear I am fighting with a wall - a room really. I call it “the Breaking Room.” After some failed attempts standing in the deep snow of our back yard in February, chucking a mug at our wooden fence I decided the cement-walled room in our unfinished basement seemed like a better option. So that is where I stand, just outside the open wood paneled door, and I throw things - glass things - as hard as I can. Many wine bottles, beer bottles, whole food supplement containers, and thanks to a dear woman in our Exegy group - a stack of sturdy ceramic plates she delivered to our door. Bless you, dear woman.
I am fighting and I don’t know what for. I am fighting because I still don’t want to accept that this is our reality, this is our new normal. And I am fighting to be well. To be okay. To hold on to hope or faith or whatever it is that will give me something to stand on and walk toward. And as I move forward through the days and months since our world was rocked, since we lost our sweet Eloise, I am fighting to make meaning of this heartache and loss. Inspired by Marianne Williamson, I am fighting to step more fully into ‘my power beyond measure,’ to resist playing small and shrinking back. And you are witness.
I hope that as my tragedy has drawn you, my fight will inspire you. Encourage you to fight, even when you don’t know what you are fighting or why. Do it - wrestle, shake your fists, scream or be silent.
Do not run.
It is only then that we can find a brave new way forward.