My daughter drew her first and last breaths on November 12, 2007. Up and through the 32 weeks and 2 hours of her life I went through almost every human emotion and numerous physical traumas that included a 12 week stay in the hospital all culminating with acute kidney failure and the emergency delivery of my little girl. She would die in my arms as I struggled to stay awake after surgery and do one last thing for her. I could re-tell her story here, but that isn't the point of this blog, the point is to tell you my story that started unfolding after that day.
The first few weeks I went about life in a bit of a daze, people don’t really know what to say exactly, so they either say nothing or everything. I knew they were trying, and honestly, I was just numb from the shock, but those weeks turned into months which turned into years. Here is what I didn’t realize grief can be a funny bug, even in an ideal circumstance it is messy, but add in some past trauma and you are ripe for complicated grief. This insight would come with major hindsight all I knew is that the next eight years would bring some major accomplishments like starting my own business, publishing a book, getting my massage license just to name a few. I had some huge personal joys like having another child, my oldest son was healthy, and I was maintaining recovery from Anorexia. I was divorced during that time but my ex-husband I got along, and I have supportive friends and family. Everything seemed great, but there was a huge shadow lurking in the background, something nobody really knew, in that eight years since my daughter’s death I was planning to die.
Some days the thought was much more pressing than others, but it was always there; it grew to be such a customary part of my life that I made room for it to fit in like you do for a sweater in a drawer. It was comforting to know that no matter how bad or painful this world got I had a way out. God knows I had tried before with Anorexia, but this time I was much more deliberate in my thinking. As the years passed life just seemed to take on the same pattern of everything being ok, even good for a while, only to come crashing in around me and the pain would be overwhelming, and my comfortable back-burner plan became a viable alternative.
It was September of 2015 when I became what they term "actively suicidal". I knew it too, even admitted it, I was in therapy and had been for over twenty plus years, I come from a household of psychotherapists, and here I was telling my therapist that I almost drove my car off the road. I didn't understand the conflict raging in my mind, body and soul. Part of me was trying to take me out and the other part was desperately trying to find a way to live. All I wanted was the pain to end.
So, I agreed to take a respite. Earlier I had begun writing to someone. It was a place where I could express without interruption and knowing someone would hold space for me. That expression and that space kept me alive. For that connection, I am grateful. I was within a breath of taking my life but having someone who just listened saved my life a day- a letter at a time.
My letters were filled with my pain and torment, but someone was there, someone listened. I wasn't alone. I could hang on and at 2:00 am on September 20, 2015 by the Grace of God I made the choice to live.
I have not looked back from that moment and since then those thoughts that used to always linger there as a way out, a comfortable friend calming the anxieties, have disappeared, they have been replaced with compassion for myself and a purpose. I reach out. I have loving family and friends. That time was an awakening point, an alignment with myself and my purpose. It drove me to create what I am doing now in this business. It is why I am telling you this story. When I was at the point of taking myself out I wouldn't have believed any of what I am saying now, every time someone would ask "what about your children?" I would feel ashamed because I was in too much pain and there wasn't a motivation to live all I interpreted was shame in what was meant to be support.
Here is the bottom line the decision to live was mine, but I couldn't have done it alone. Connection was pivotal to every awakening in my life, from the moments of grace, to the letters I wrote to the people I love, and the clients in my practice. They all brought me connection which meant hope and we all need hope to keep going.
No matter the point you are in that awakening process it takes work, I know there are days that the energy to simply read and process this information can be overwhelming, I get it. I know it hurts to wake up and re-align. I am not going to feed you clichés. I want to be a voice to say I have been there too, there are lots of voices like that, this is what this whole space and forum is about, a place to heal and connect to others who are healing. Others who are suiting up and showing up for their awakening. Showing up doesn't mean pretending everything is okay when it isn't, it means honoring where you are, it means I am starting here. It is okay in this space to say you are in pain, I am ok, I am angry, I am happy, I am scared, I am confused, or I am mixture of whole bunch of things, all that matters is you showed up.
I needed a connection to something and that one connection turned into many, like my family, my sister, my friends, the ladies on my advisory board, and my business partner, Lorna. Connection is about the” I am here", "I got you", "I am listening", "I am standing with you", "I hear you", "I am holding your hand", "I have been there", and "we got this". You can say we are connected in a million different ways and that is the point of this website, the purpose of this company and the goal of our work.
We would be honored to walk with you on that awakening path. If you are willing to have us join you, we are willing to be a voice that says "me too". Welcome to a place to rewrite, reconnect and we are with you as you do.