Nothing can ever prepare you for tragedy, whether it is death or a defining moment that changes the course of your life forever, there is simply nothing that can possibly prepare you for such a shock to the system. Mostly, nothing can prepare you for the severe re-percussions, array of emotions and even physical symptoms that arise in the aftermath. It is something that does not just effect you on an emotional level but on an entire soul level. It opens a side of you, you never knew existed. It opens a whole can of worms and tosses away the lid, unable to close it again. It shoves you in the drivers seat of an unknown car with no steering wheel and it takes you on the steepest roller coaster of your life, without any harness. You are on a free – fall, with no padded landing.
Nothing can prepare you for life after tragedy. Absolutely nothing.
The 22nd of August 2012 is a day that I will never, ever be able to wrap my human brain around, no matter how intense and beautiful my healing journey may be. It was the day I lost the very first man who loved me and the very first man who broke my heart at 6 years of age, the man who created me and unconsciously abandoned me but most of all, the man who I loved and will always love more than anything in the world – my dad. Yes, my whole family lost him on that dreaded evening. All of their lives, like mine, did a complete 360 degree flip. Each and every one of them had their own punch to the gut, their own tailored experience of this night and their very own scale of suffering and very own personal journey ahead of them. We all shared an immense pain, but on entirely different scales and all from very different vantage points but this right here, is purely coming from myself only and my experience of it all, my pain and my journey, nobody else’s.
It wasn’t one of those deaths where you get to say your goodbyes and try to ‘prepare yourself’ (in which I believe there is no such way). No. It was a cruel, quick snatch, a light switch so aggressively turned off that you have no choice but to walk in the dark, a knife to the heart without any warning. I lost my dad in the blink of an eye, to a selfish act of another human, to some-one else’s unconscious decision to get behind a wheel when they were in no state to drive. I lost my father to a drunk-driver. In another country. I was completely and utterly helpless.
The words that I screamed from the very top of my lungs in that very moment that I was told, will be burnt into my subconscious forever and they went something like this: “Please! I am not done yet, we were not done yet.”
I lost my dad right smack – bang in the middle of the makings of the most beautiful, mature, father daughter relationship. The exact one I had been craving since I was that little 6-year-old girl. The one I needed so desperately through those horrific high school years and those horrific anxiety frenzy’s, the one I needed when I was teased and had no idea about boys but more simply, the one that I needed to come and pick me up from school, be waiting at the gate for me with open arms, knowing that I was safe and loved. I didn’t realise I needed all of this as a child, as a teenager and as an adult until any possible chance of having it was ripped from my very two hands.
For me, I never realised that my very first experience of a tragedy was when my parents split up when I was 6 years of age. It had never affected me. I had truly never thought about it, as it was all that I knew and I was happy with that. After dad’s passing, a whole lot of emotions smacked me head on without a single warning, emotions I was not even aware of. Resentment, grief, deep depression and anger were all waiting in the wings for their time to shine. But I soon realised, that it wasn’t at all my parents divorce that was the reason behind these buried 6-year-old emotions at all, it was my inner child that had felt it had been abandoned, my inner child that felt it was not deserving of love and my inner child that felt so very alone. So I guess after dad’s passing, It was as if I had been left twice.
As a child you are so very pure, all you can do is absorb everything around you and place it in a little sacred spot, tucked away neatly in your subconscious, until you are old enough and something so huge happens, it finally awakens the beast and somehow you can never tuck it away like you could when you were a child. You can soothe the beast and let it sleep for a while but it always manages to wake up again, and each time more agro and more temperamental than ever. Once the beast is out, it’s staying out. There is no ‘rug sweeping’, there is no avoidance, it’s face it now or suffer. I tried these techniques, until one day, not too long ago, I completely exploded again and again… and again, until the very beast itself tried to persuade me that I was too weak and I would never survive this battle and eventually, I had to face everything that I had locked away in my tiny, little Ellen subconscious or who knows where I would be right now. My inner child was so desperate to be heard and screaming louder than ever. My inner child wanted to be loved and wanted to know she was loved. She needed that love so badly she had bottled it up for over 10 years and blamed herself, she had self – sabotaged and dwelled for so long in mental illness and for what? Just to be heard. Just for that deep longing that her dad would one day drop everything and be by her side and make up for all of those times that he was not .
So the moment dad slipped away in 2012, my life, as cliché as it sounds, truly changed forever. I became the strongest and the weakest person, I welcomed love and despised it, I lived life to the fullest and sabotaged it. I was a walking contradiction, a walking time bomb. I was desperate to be fixed but had no tools to do so. I was holding the instructions but they were upside down and in a completely foreign language. This language, I have only just recently began to understand. That tragedy doesn’t have to be seen as tragedy. It can become the very foundation of the path to your truest self. Tragedy can mean that it was that person’s time to depart this realm because they have learnt all of their lessons here and are ready to proceed back into their highest being, even if you feel you didn’t get anywhere near enough of their life, love or their lessons.
Tragedy can make your relationships so much more meaningful, life more meaningful and it can make you love more fiercely than you ever have before. It is a chance to heal all of those wounds that have been festering inside of you and also, maybe even find peace with the person who has passed and find peace with their sudden transition into their next journey. Of coarse, every body has vastly different experiences and scales of tragedy so I can most definitely not speak for anyone else, only for myself and strangely enough, the above mentioned is how I have managed to overcome the negative connotations around ‘tragedy.’
Yes, there are still horrific moments of pain and moments of pure hatred of the world and the universe and I will probably always slip into these moments but the difference is now, I know I am resilient enough to overcome these feelings and I am learning a new, beautiful way of thinking about death. Tragedy is horrific for us here on earth, it is incomprehensible and it is something that is way beyond our understanding and so far beyond what our human brains can acknowledge but I truly believe that there is a way to find some solace in what seems like such an unfair, cruel and heart-breaking thing.
I can truly say that I have finally started to find peace with my dad and his passing and what an incredible, euphoric feeling it is. I have never felt so free, safe, loved and guided in all of my life. I have never felt as close to my dad than I do right now because I know he is guiding me now more than ever, as his purest self, all of his doings from the physical realm are now cleansed. I feel it in every part of my being. In the glow of the sun, the sway of the trees, the glisten of the ocean and somehow, I have created my own peace, developed a relationship with him that is more powerful than it ever could have ever been here on earth. For in the end, it is not they who are sad to have passed, it is us. We are the ones who carry the suffering but we can turn that suffering around and somehow manage to find a slither of light to hold onto. That slither of light can turn into a light so bright that we can not help but be enveloped by it and by being in this light, you become closer to your loved one, because they are now an energy form and you must now meet them on the level they are at now. The more we dwell in sadness, grief and any dampening emotion, the more we resist and the further away from them we feel. So surrender to that sacred place deep in your heart, that place of forgiveness and love, the place that knows there is more to us than just this earth, where they shall sit forever more and will stay there until you too become a vast ball of energy and until you too transition into the next realm and until you eventually meet on the very same level and can both continue into the next life cycle together, putting the past life in the past.
Finding Light after tragedy isn’t impossible for we are only as evolved as we allow ourselves to be.
‘Do not pity the dead, Harry. Pity the living, and, above all those who live without love.’
– Albus Dumbledore, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows AKA J.K Rowling
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