Monday, February 24, 2014

Personally Personal

Michael on his wedding day.
Tragedy struck the Hagans and Andrews last fall. My little brother took his life after a long, painful battle with some personal demons.

To say that I was devastated would be an understatement. Everything I thought of the world shattered with one phone call. Something inside of me broke and will never be put back together. I posted on Facebook that a little piece of my heart flew away that Wednesday morning. It might not surprise you that I had to step back and re-evaluate my life--every aspect of my life. I needed time to process, to grieve, to heal. I've learned that it is possible to continue living after tragic loss; that even in the dark of a sleepless night we do survive, even when we are begging to die because the pain is so deep, so fathomless. I would wake after fitful sleep, surprised that I was still alive.

I discovered that humans are designed with this amazing coping mechanism. We have the ability to shut off certain processes in the brain. Without it we are incapable of dealing with grief. So, I shut down. I abandoned every non-essential function in my life. Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year's came along, but I was numb. I couldn't see the joy in the Season because my grief was so all-encompassing.

Then, one day, I woke up. I could see the beauty of Creation again. I could express love for someone else. My self-absorption faded. I stood beside one of my best friends and grieved with her family over the loss of a loved one. I stayed awake all night and prayed for another dear friend who had to have emergency surgery to repair damage done years ago by a Soviet appendectomy. I started seeing beyond my own grief.

My little "Bubby" is gone from my life and that will never be OK. I will continue to cry the occasional tear for him, but I am going to survive. I will live my life, I will make plans, I will pick up the pieces and I will survive.

So, to all my readers out there, I can't say that I am sorry for being silent for all these months. You can surely understand my reasons. I can, however, say that I am back. The game is on. And may the odds be ever in your favor. (That one is for all my Fangirls.)

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