I breathe color today. Today – I feel dimensions and many levels of emotions, energy and I feel I am in flow. I know without needing to defend or justify just what I have experienced and endured since the event, but that was not how I was in the yesterdays. It is a gift to be standing in the space I fill today, a place that I knew, god how I knew, was not ever going to be for me. Everything I thought I knew about myself, life and all things meaningful was changed in the matter of seconds.
I call the early days of my loss, my grief as the “dark days”. I was forced into a monochromatic depression that matched my inability to comprehend what was being said to me. I was unable to catch my breath, time was moving far too fast for me to keep up. I remember imploring time to slow down for just a bit, if only for me to catch my breath, to give me a moment longer to take in what was said in that phone call. It couldn’t be that Mike was calling to tell me that our son died. That was absurd. Something about a car accident…..that Sean was involved….that he’s gone.
“He’s gone”. Two words that were seared in my heart.
No one told me not to go to work nor did anyone tell me I might want to return to work. I was on autopilot. I remember that deciding to make coffee or to brush my teeth was about as big as it was going to be that day. I had a twenty-one year old son and my youngest would be four in two weeks when the accident happened. The days seemed to run into each other without notice. It seemed like I needed to do something, so I just went back to work a couple of weeks later.
I have no idea how I did what I did back then. My job is teaching four to five fitness classes back to back and personal training at a resort on the Big Island of Hawaii. I work with people from all over the world who are on vacation; who are expecting an amazing experience in paradise. I put on a microphone, a smile, some awesome music and went into professional mode – all the while my heart was splintering inside and my eyes told a different story.
If you listen to me now, you would not believe that I weathered a tumultuous tragedy. Losing a child is hailed as the deepest, heaviest, hardest losses in life. There was no way you could ever get me to think about seeing the colors in the setting sun, or find a sliver of joy in anything, ever again. Yet I was not alone in this experience. My son was present. His life as he knew it changed in a moment as well as did mine. You could say we both were born into a new life, and a different relationship could emerge by looking into where I believed him to be.
Someone along my journey asked me if I thought Sean was in the darkness. I quickly said, “Of course not”. She then asked a beautiful, thought provoking, courageous question; “Then why are you looking for him there”? That created enough space for me to look to where I thought he might find me. I started looking for the unusual, the out of place, the signs that would wrap around the same time frame with the thought that created them. Sean was not locked out of my life by his accident; I was blocking his entering my life in the only ways he could be with me, by staying in my deep sense of loss. I found that I could block his presence with my intense grief…or experiment letting some of the concepts that he was gone go and let in there is no death, only a life after life and he still exists. Since that experiment began, I have found a peace I can live inside. I still miss his physical presence, his voice and sense of humor and all those events I would have been apart of had he survived….but I have found….no, he has found a way to connect with me, his mother, in a more sacred place than I could ever imagine.
Since this life is limited; has a beginning and an ending, this part of my story has shown me the bigger picture – that we always exist beyond this life, at this time, on this planet we call Earth. There is no way anyone can convince me that we cease to exist when we take that last breath. We are forever beings. I have chosen to live in the light of hope, of foreverness, not just one moment in his life. He has given me a priceless gift of a knowing that this life is temporary – however the length of it. He has guided me all along the way and for that I live sharing my story for those who have come after me.
Hope. Trust. Willingness. Courage. Intuition. Others. Insight. Faith.