From profound grief to living again
My intent within this blog post is to paint with a broad brush and give an overview of my story from the moment of learning of my daughter’s illness, continuing on through her dying, and still further until the last word is typed on this page. In the posts that follow this one I will attempt to break the story down into bite-size pieces, giving more texture and color to the finer points that have brought me to where I find myself on this continuous healing journey. So here goes…
My life was already in disarray, having moved out of the United States and exploring a possible new beginning in Costa Rica, while several family members remained in the states. Hannah had joined me on this new venture, but was not feeling well. She went back to Georgia to see her dad and visit a doctor who was a good friend of ours. A couple of days later I received a call from my husband that Hannah was dying.
That phone call changed my life forever and irrevocably. My body began to hum, and would continue doing so for the foreseeable future. I flew back to the states to be with Hannah as she faced death with more courage and grace than I thought possible. 100 days after we got the news, she died. I was decimated, terrified, detached, aware that I barely had control of my mind. Or did I? The truth is that at points I even checked out, unable to face my daughter’s looming death with the same beauty that she did. Not even close.
I existed in anger, disillusionment, fear, confusion. Was it possible that there could be a loving God if this type of thing were allowed to happen to the best of us? Why her? Why like this? Why? Why? and WHY again!? Over time I learned to let this unanswerable question go. For sanity’s sake, I had to.
The first months were spent in fetal position part of the time, not sure if I wanted to live, or if there was any reason to do so. If the pain I felt could not be remedied, or at least tempered, why go on? Quickly, though, I began a frantic search for something, anything, that could pry me out of the deep, dark hole I was in. The first thing necessary was to place everything I ever believed in, and I do mean EVERYTHING, up onto the proverbial shelf. I instinctively knew that if I was to breathe again, it would be necessary to explore, to dig, to break the molds that had formed me. This was an absolute. If it were formerly taboo, all the more reason to at least take a look. I reasoned that if truth were in my old belief system, it would be waiting for me. So out on the journey I went, crawling and limping and staggering at first, but I had begun.
Over the following months and years I threw caution to the wind, though always filtering the potential areas of exploration through my instincts and intuition, and sometimes common sense (haha), and began to dig into numerous healing sources and possibilities. It began with books and videos, from stories of NDE’s, or Near Death Experiences, to noted speakers in the realm of the afterlife, to learning about mental inquiry and how the mind can trap us into pits of despair, and how we can be set free, and so many more subjects. We spoke with mediums, certainly a no-no in the past, and read books of past life regression. I even delved into a little science, marveling at the field of quantum physics and how it complements the discussion of the spirit realm.
My husband and I went to a grief conference in New Mexico and found comfort among others whose worlds were similar to ours. We also experimented with a plant medicine called Ayahuasca. Not long after I blew my inhibitions to bits and participated in a tantra workshop, at which we dabbled in various modes of dancing, movement and shaking, and spent time practicing unique breathing methods, among other interesting adventures, and I was hooked. I yearned for more, and soon ventured much deeper into the worlds of movement and breathwork, especially; each step of the way a healing balm for my body, mind, and spirit.
As I type these final words (for now), I am excited to say that my body is no longer humming, the fetal position is no longer my go-to, I’ve learned to control my thoughts (a lot of them, anyway!), and I have learned to laugh and live more authentically than I ever dreamed possible! In addition, I have crafted my own healing forum, Modalities That Heal, incorporating many of the tools that have been instrumental on my healing journey. All of this I owe to my beautiful daughter!
Stay tuned for some deeper diving…