Traumatic, complicated grief came into Sandy’s life at 4 am on December 18, 2010, as two Deputy Sheriffs delivered the message that her youngest son, Mike, had died sometime the day prior. Mike had died of suicide.
Unexpected, deepest, and most profound pain was delivered, along with the message that Mike had taken his own life. This was indeed grief of a sort she had never imagined or expected. And yet it was now her reality. A path of pain, some might say.
Sandy knew that this place of deepest pain was completely reasonable. Someone she loved with her entire being was now gone from the planet. At the same time, she knew that she could not and did not intend to spend the rest of her life feeling excruciating pain. This grief needed to be acknowledged, felt, and processed in safe, healthy ways.
She had support, some from very unexpected but deeply appreciated sources. She was not alone. She had loving and incredibly supportive friends as well as many tools in her box, including coaching, Reiki, and meditation. She was also able to connect with others who were experiencing their own grief due to suicide and those who were much further along the path, well into their own healing.
And so Sandy began to focus on each step she was walking. She was very aware that she was now taking a new path in her life… through grief and healing.
No, the healing did not happen in a moment or even overnight. But each day, there were moments, sometimes minutes or even hours, that she felt better. Healing was happening. Soon, there were days when she laughed or spent time with others simply enjoying the company of one another. Healing takes many forms and happens in many ways. It was happening for Sandy. This was healing in action.