Blog #2

May 21, 2022

Transitions are more frequent now than ever. Coming out of the COVID pandemic, we are faced with so many decisions. Vaccines, gatherings, travel, resuming work in person or remaining online. Our routines have been disrupted yet once again and we struggle to find an equilibrium.

I’m transitioning to the last half of life. Okay, that last quarter.

My grandchildren are all out of diapers, the youngest in school next year, two of the oldest with children of their own. It’s such an interesting experience to have our circle of family growing and maturing. I remember so well when we were where they are now. It was a time of movement, busy schedules, promise mixed with fear, despair and at times poverty.

Today, a beautiful young mother is being laid to rest. They say that when someone is feeling suicidal, they often make some plea for help. They tell someone. When someone wants to die, they leave a note or give gifts in a subtle gesture of saying goodbye. She didn’t leave a note on the morning she took her infant daughter to see the pediatrician and gifted her son with a piece of pizza. But clearly her thoughts were on them and determined to do what was best for them and for herself.

Her friends and family knew she was a victim of domestic violence. They’d talked to her about it. They’d talked to others, they’d talked amongst themselves. She’d not been hit that anyone knew about, but the verbal and emotional assaults they had witnessed. She was a Christian and drew strength from her faith. She was beautiful and she carried on, until enough was enough.

I remember a time when I decided my children and this world would be better off without me. I’d come to believe all that their dad had said of me. “Lazy, worthless, no good, f-ing whore, b@tch, useless” I took the kids to my cousins house to play with their kids and promptly walked into the bushes with the intention of getting lost, never to be found again. Dazed and foggy brained I carried on up to the top of a mountain behind Esperanza. It had been about 3 hours and I was wondering who would feed the kids and where they would sleep that night when they found I hadn’t arrived home. Their dad was away and I was happy they’d be in better hands than ours.

All of a sudden, I heard the words, “Mummy! What are you doing here? I need you to come back!” I turned to see my three year old daughter Heidi panting and really out of breath, as if she’d followed me.

To this day, I don’t recall if it was her, a mirage, an angel or what. I wasn’t on a trail and she’d never been that deep on the mountain before. Seeing her, my thoughts reorganized and I rushed home.

The woman being mourned today has found another home, one that is not earthly. She simply entered a graveyard, laid down in a beautiful spot and with one bullet ended her life. As she transitions, so do we.

Our stories are different now. Her husband has a new story to tell, her children, her family and friends. Those of us who are bystanders.

Domestic violence ultimately leads to murder and or suicide. I know this. You all know this as you read the papers and hear the news.

The work of creating safety is arduous, inconvenient and as we know sometimes impossible.

Today, I stand with the family and friends who reached out to the woman they bury today with love, friendship and guidance, thanking them for all they did and are doing on behalf of this family.

I also am deeply grateful for all who dare to intervene on behalf of victims by caring for the kids when they are in despair, offering hope and wisdom, safe places to stay, financial support, love and prayer.

We are all interconnected and I feel it more at times like this as we grieve.

Transitions allow us often to reconnect with someone, something or some place. They draw us to new connections, to others with similar experiences, to alternative ways of coping.

What transition are you experiencing?

In these spaces, I recommend:

● Finding a safe place to grieve
Allow yourself time to journal, talk to a friend, go to counseling. Revisit the stories of what used to be until you find yourself more able to come into the present.

● Make a new plan
When you find yourself able to face the day head on, perhaps still holding the loss of what was, make a new plan. As Mary Oliver says in her poem, “What are you going to do with your one precious life?” It’s time to adjust to the new reality. You can do it!

● Create
In this space, you move beyond your hopes and dreams to action. Creativity allows us to live into a happier place. Creating beauty out of heartache is a wonderful fuel for good mental health that leads to stabilizing emotions and healthier lifestyles.

● Grow and be amazing
We are made to flourish. Whether you have built a life that feeds your soul, become a philanthropist, raised your children in a way that brings you satisfaction, painted a stunning picture, focused on issues of justice, or become a contemplative… the options are endless. As Henri Nowevn reminds us, “It is not what we have, it is not what we do, it’s not what others say about us. We are beloved sons and daughters of God.” And with that understanding, it’s easy to lift our heads and be amazing.

I have a course coming up Help! I Have A Loved One Who Is In An Abusive Relationship. If you are interested in learning more check it out here (please link to the course)

Love to you,