So many ways to embrace the grief

After recently giving a few presentations someone came up to me and asked “How are you able to get up there and share such deep pain?” Because I have a few years of speaking behind me now and because I try my best to always reflect on how I feel I was able to express the emotions that are present before, during and after.

Everyday I give thanks for being able to share my pain because I know when we as people express our pain it helps us heal and gives others permission to express their pain. I also feel blessed that I am asked to speak about Rehtaeh because in doing so I honour her life and my love for her.

Speaking of my deepest pain is extremely hard but to do so I prepare before and after every presentation. I breathe, I ask for strength and I breathe. During a talk I connect to my heart and after a talk I have to decompress by resting. I rest, I cry, and I show kindness to myself as a way to get centered once again but its an emotional time as well.

This morning I woke early (puppy in the house) and fell back to sleep.For the first time in months I had a dream about Rehtaeh.
The dream was a sad dream in which Rehtaeh was trying to cope with life and did not have any sense of hope left. She was about 20yrs old in the dream. She was not living here but agreed to meet me because I had not seen her in a while. I took her by the hand, crouched down and began telling her who she truly was and how she changed my life in so many positive ways. I was pleading with her to see herself as she once was – so full of dreams and excitement. Before the dream ended I saw a glimmer of hope on her face and a tear in her eye as we embraced. My girl!

When I woke I knew that today was November 12th. This day 5yrs ago was the day Rehtaeh’s life changed forever. November 12th 2011 was the day she was raped and her nightmare began – our nightmare began. I was sad when I woke today. I miss her so very much but then I embraced my heart once again. I give thanks to the Universe for providing me with the ability to share her with the world. What a gift!!

Then FB shared a memory with me – a collage of Temma and Rehtaeh reminding me she did exist. Her love for her sisters happened and can not be undone. Lover never dies.