April has arrived and I am reminded of the deep pain that usually sits just under the surface. This time of year the pain is a bit feisty and demands more attention. I don’t run away from this pain. I don’t “get busy” as a way to bypass these deep deep emotions. I walk towards them and embrace them all with love and compassion. I greet them each day like they are well known friends because they are. My grief is an intimate part of who I am.
I used to expect “others” to be there for me but usually this led to disappointment. It is great when people are there but it is really about being there for myself. I am able to hold my pain in ways that others cannot. I am not saying that we do not need supports in place because we do! We absolutely need support but we have to know our self enough to know what it is we need during pain filled times.
I reached out to a few people in the past couple weeks. The ones that I know care.I will balance company with my alone time. If we do not know how we grieve or what is required we can quickly fall into a dark dark spiral of despair. This I know for sure!!! I am not willing to go there.
As I reflect this week on my life with Rehtaeh two major events rise up for me with such gratitude. She brought me so much guidance.
The day she was born absolutely changed my life for the better. She was the driving force behind my commitment to get an education. I knew I needed to provide a good life for us. I was TERRIFIED to attend University after 10+years of being out of school (high school drop out) I also knew I had to do this for our future together.
I ignored all those thoughts of not “being able to commit” “not being smart enough” to attend University. Her precious face was my daily reminder . I surpassed my initial goal and completed two University Degrees. I was so grateful for her guidance
The second event that I am reminded of daily is the day Rehtaeh ended her earthly journey. The seventeen months of pain and struggle leading up to her death was a time of trauma and despair. Each day was like swimming in turbulent water coming up for air on occasion. Then just like that the struggle to survive for Rehtaeh was over and mine had just begun.
Yet, that fierce love and anger began to rise within. Suddenly I no longer feared anything and my voice became Rehtaeh’s voice. It was such a powerful pain filled time. I am grateful for the brain’s ability to protect us from the truth and allow memories to be released slowly over time.
Once again Rehtaeh allowed me to see what I am made of and what is possible in the name of love. She gave me guidance from her place in the spirit world. The strength Rehtaeh showed in becoming a light to the injustices bestowed upon her began to rise within me also. I have grown and evolved with her by my side (again) in ways I would never have imagined.
I know that this emotional pain is not meant to diminish who I am but to embrace it all with love and compassion. We have choices! We choose to live or we choose to exist as a shell of pain and despair. I made a decision to live.