Today is an important day, and unfortunately not for a happy reason. I lost my dad to pancreatic cancer on this day 19 years ago. I was 11, and I had no idea, no concept, of how it would impact my life going forward. There was a lot of sadness and anger, of course, and for a long time that’s all there was. It was very difficult to look back with anything but those negative emotions, even when thinking about happy memories of him.
But time has a funny way of changing things. Hurt recedes, anger resolves, and happiness and smiles poke their heads back into your life. It will always be painful, these kinds of losses and traumas, but eventually, the pain moves over and makes room for us to feel joy again alongside it.
When these things happen to us, these huge losses and obstacles and soul-altering, life shattering events, it can be almost impossible to see how we are ever going to piece things back together again. But I think that’s kind of the point.
When we break a glass, it often splits into so many pieces, big and minuscule, that even if we glued together every fragment we could find on the floor, it would never be exactly the way it was before; it would need to find a new way to function with the addition of the cracks and holes.
That’s kind of like our lives after a loss or something like a cancer diagnosis. We pick up each piece and we glue it back in place, and then we go about finding a new way of living, a new normal, but we are forever changed. And here is where the beauty of breaking lies. When our life is torn apart, we have the opportunity to build it anew, to remake it however we want to.
We are altered by the things that happen to us, and if we can find a way to make those changes result in positivity and growth, we are truly free. There is power in taking charge of our trauma; I would argue, in fact, that it is the best and potentially only way to face and then overcome the biggest challenges of our lives. If you find yourself in a place of darkness right now, know that you aren’t alone and that it won’t always feel this way. You have the power to move back into the light. It might not be easy, in fact it likely won’t be, but it is possible.
I want to encourage you to step into your power and take charge of your trauma by facing it. Examine how it has changed you for the better. Reflect on how it has allowed you or motivated you to rebuild your life or view it from a different, more positive perspective. Remember those you have lost with love and joy, and thank them for what they brought into your life while they were here. It isn’t easy to do and it may take time, but the more you shift your energies and ways of thinking about these events, the easier it will get. Meditation, mindfulness, gratitude, and consciously making time for your passions are all extremely helpful ways to support this process. And there is absolutely no shame in seeking help from a therapist. Therapy is the best! Everyone should try it 🙂 You will find that facing traumas will allow you to more easily release the anger and sadness and look with light and love on your past instead. Your past has gotten you to where you are today, and that is something to celebrate.
P.S. I love you Dad ❤️