When I first became bereaved in 2005, after the suicide of my daughter, I felt confused and distrustful of everything. My entire world had fallen apart. I had no idea how I would ever live without my child and was terrified something else really bad would happen to my family. I couldn’t imagine what I could ever do again that would feel worthwhile. I felt isolated and different from everyone else and in pain so extreme, I didn’t think I could survive it. I felt powerless. There was no relief in sight.
But I did survive. More importantly, I’m starting to truly live again through a healing process I can’t wait to share with others.
I’ve been away from blogging for a little while as I find myself going through a somewhat unexpected transformation. I say unexpected because most of my adult life I’ve thrown myself into learning and growth that has always produced positive change. I’m used to it. However, coming off my hardest challenge to date, which has been the suicide of my daughter in 2005, I can admit it’s taken a lot to drum up the energy to go after life with the zest I once had. I no longer always have the motivation or even the physical capability as a bereaved parent to keep up with the former me (which still surprises me, though it shouldn’t).
I’ve found it especially hard to have a reason to keep moving forward and try new things to create a better version of myself that everyone can benefit from. Including me. Which is true for all of us. It’s a win-win for everyone the more we can commit to learning and growing to improve the current version of ourselves.
Now, while all this may sound like a lot of navel gazing, it’s also true that we can’t be of any real value to others if we can’t first find value in ourselves. However, reaching the point where we want to tap into our worth and reclaim our inner power can be challenging, depending on the adversity we are trying to overcome. It can also be frustrating that what one person may succeed at beating in life, we may never.
Here’s an interesting news story. After “mysteriously vanishing from the spotlight” two years ago, RCMP Staff Sgt. Jennifer Pound, a twenty-two-year veteran of the RCMP and for six years, the “public face” of the integrated homicide investigation team (IHIT) in Metro Vancouver, is emerging as the RCMP’s new face of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Here’s my take on the story. Is she really? Or, is Pound the chosen one to finally get the media’s attention (and stay there) to highlight just how broken the system is when it comes to the RCMP providing support and resources to its mentally injured members? Here’s part of her story.
I came across this article in a Canadian newspaper recently where a New York supreme court judge gave permission for the parents of a deceased son without his prior consent to use his sperm to produce a male heir. Cultural differences aside (they are from a culture where male heirs are important), they stated they were desperate for a part of their son to live on, which is universal to all grieving parents.
As a bereaved parent myself, the story left me wondering whether this case could set a precedent giving every parent the right to produce a grandchild from their deceased child without consent, all because we want a part of them to live on. This raises all sorts of questions about the ethics and ramifications of this extended arm of assisted-baby making techniques; not only for bioethicists, but our culture at large. It also left me wondering whether I would have done it if I could when my child died in 2005. The answer?