Today marks 4 years since my life was turned upside down, the day I found out I would have to live without him. On August 17th, 2010 at 5:00am the police knocked on my door and told me my husband and dad to our four children was killed in a sudden accident. Last year I decided to reclaim the day for myself and my children. It was my intention to flip the meaning of this day to one of celebrating all that this wonderful man had meant to us and all the beautiful gifts he had given us. It was an attempt to take the sting out of a date, a number, a day that was filled with such pain, such loss, such sadness. You can read about this day one year ago and my intention here.
My intention was good, but now one year later, August 17th, 2014, the sting is still felt. I miss him a little bit more today. I felt more emotional over the last few days. I felt it building up as this day got closer. There is no question it was a day that dramatically changed the tragectory of my life. It was the day I was told I would never see him again, that he was gone forever – in the physical sense. In that moment that was devastating. Not to be able to see his smile, hear his voice, feel his arms wrapped around me, not to reflect upon our children as they grew before our eyes, not to plan for our future and celebrate this journey together. All of that had come to a crashing end.
As I reflect back upon the last four years and my life after loss I discovered some things.
Loss is one of those things that changes us forever.
I see the world different now – the preciousness of life and the importance of being present fully. None of us know how long we have in this current physical reality and when our last moment or the last moment of those we love will be, so hug those we love every day from our heart, tell them how much they mean to us and live from the knowing that this moment is truly all we really have.
The importance of being fully present in the experience.
I remember telling my children in the first days, that my heart was broken and thinking to myself, this is what a broken heart feels like. My initial reaction was to pull away from the intensity of it, only to discover the resistance intensified the pain. As I allowed the experience to wash over me my broken heart became an opening to greater depths of feeling. For when one experiences great sadness the potential for great joy emerges. I felt such gut-wrenching pain in loosing him and also in that discovered the depth of love we had shared, something I did not know in my day-to-day life with him. I also felt intense love and appreciation for my children. Their pure resiliant hearts gave me such love and hope. I began to see my broken heart as a heart opened to receive more, to feel more.
Trust is important on our journey in whatever experiences we find ourselves in.
Trusting myself proved pivotal in navigating the unknown emotional terrain of loss. Guilt and self-judgement crept in as I second-guessed myself. I turned inward to myself and listened to my own guidance from within, trusting that whatever brought me comfort and relief must be right for me. This trust in myself, the process and the Universe freed me to find my own way, blaze a new trail and not get caught up in our culture’s stories about grief and loss, other people’s stories or expectations of me and even my own limiting stories.
Center and breathe. In the midst of the devastation, the out of control emotional chaos that literally seemed to consume me I discovered solace within myself. All I wanted was to be back in his arms and since that wasn’t possible and no one else could fix this, I was drawn inward. I found comfort in simply breathing. Feeling the air move through my body, calming and soothing me, lulling me into relief. My breathe became my friend as I worked with it to calm the chaos. I returned to my center, to that source part of me. It felt good and I began to feel the Universe supporting and loving me.
The power of imagery.
Imagery and visualization are powerful tools and as I tapped into them, my energy and my perspective shifted. I used visualization to connect with him and gain closure. As I closed my eyes I was able to see him, to converse with him, to feel his presence again. Was it really him – possibly, did it really matter if it was or not? Nope. To me I accepted it as my new connection and relationship with him. It felt better and so the “truth” of it wasn’t as important as the feeling it gave me. I now feel more connected and loved by him than when he was here with me in the physical. I have chosen the perspective that feels the best for me. I further used the power of visualization to connect to my inner essence and feel deeply supported by the Universal Source energy. Within my mind’s eye I saw the energy flowing from source into my inner beingness and back out again – a stream of well-being flowing to and through me. This helped to stabilize me emotionally and soothed me. I allowed myself to just sit and be in that positive stream.
This was key for me and I believe at moments saved me from the darkness that could’ve consumed me. I had lost so much and yet I held onto all that remained and was so appreciative of everything. The beautful laughing, smiling, at times crying faces of my children. These beings that were navigating this experience with a grace I craved and a reverence I desired. They may have been young in years but they were wise in their beingness. Still largely connected to that stream of well-being, I appreciated their process. They allowed the emotion to take them dipping into it and then allowing it to pass, they moved in and out of the sadness in ease and allowed joy and play to temper them. I learned so much about myself and the true nature of being human from watching them and yes I appreciated and enjoyed every moment. They were my saving grace. The reason I held on, got up every morning, smiled, kept an open heart and believed we would be okay. I appreciated even more. The love my husband and I had shared in our time together. The deep acceptance and unconditional love we shared left an imprint in my heart of what love and live is really about. I carry his love with me. I appreciated the support I had from family, friends and our community. I appreciated the life insurance I didn’t even know we had, the governement compensation I was given as he was killed on the job. It eased everything and allowed me to be present with my kids. I appreciated the breath in my body and the start of each new day. In that appreciation I found hope and promise and faith. The power of appreciation cannot be underestimated.
So now sitting here on another August 17th I appreciate the perspective four years has provided. I appreciate that the rawness of that day lives in my memory and is not my current experience. I appreciate that I took this as a wake up call to myself and am living it, waking up more and more each day. Waking up is an on-going process and I appreciate it all as I come more and more into the fullness of all that I am.
I also appreciate that though he is no longer here with me in the physical he remains in my heart. I see him often in my mind and feel my source connection strengthened through him. I feel his uncondtional source based love focused upon me and his little nudges to remember the postitive stream of well-being flowing to me, my creative power to be, go or have anything and that all really is well. He serves as my daily reminder to be fully in myself in this wild and precious life that I got going on. To breathe deeply, to be in each moment fully and to love with a wide open heart!
I accept that August 17th will always hold a sting, serve as a reminder, draw me to be more fully with him and this experience. A day to pause more deeply, reflection and celebrate all I have come to know.
I accept that — it just makes sense.