Thursday, November 1, 2012


Today I went to a grief training. Grief and loss is perhaps my least favorite subject to be trained on, but I do it every so often to refresh my clinical prowess and to stir up my own grief pot, which invariably happens e v e r y single time. I didn't actually know I was going to be trained on grief today, which is what I get for being an hour late to my meeting. So I walk in and there's a man reading from what looks like a novel. He welcomes me, I apologize for my tardiness and he reads on. I quickly realize that he's reading from a book that he has written. A book that he has written about his deceased daughter. A book that he has written about the six year major depressive episode/grieving process that ensued after he lost his daughter to terminal illness. I stepped in at the wrong time. I felt instantly panicked. "Can't I just leave?" "No! That is so rude Dorothy!" "I can't listen to this right now. Not today." "Dorothy, sit down. Relax. Just listen to the guy." "I can't listen to anything about children dying. I just can't bare it. It's too terrifying." Yes, I talk to myself a lot. So the cordial Dorothy won and I ended up staying for the training. I was uncomfortable throughout most of it and I realized that the speaker was just so raw, brilliantly raw really and the longer he spoke, the more naked I felt and I started to think about Aaron's accident and how tragically traumatic that was and continues to be when I allow myself to think of it. And when I think of it, which I often try hard not to do, I realize that I don't think the trauma in my life has made me stronger. I think its made me weaker, like a boxer who can't take another punch. 

And so I was stripped naked today at work, unsuspecting, but I learned some things too and there is something so healing about being in the near proximity of someone who has survived hell and has found a way to go on and even laugh and make jokes and talk about what kind of tacos he's going to eat for lunch. There is something magical and divine about our ability to go on. I remember after I first learned of Aaron being hit I could barely get a sense of him. It was like he had either left this world or he was on his way out. On the drive down to Albuquerque, before his helicopter had landed, I talked to him and told him to stay. Go back to your body. Stay with us. Please. I talked to him for hours and imagined him as I had seen him only hours before. So full of life. I remember the exact moment he came back. His energy suddenly surrounded me and I knew he was back. The doctors say that is when he started seizing, which was an improvement over comatose.

The thing about grief is that we are in relation to it all the time. Some days we simply observe it from afar, other days we dance with it closely.

1 comment:

  1. <3 I totally understand the feeling that it made you weaker. I feel like that.