Yesterday I spent 5 hours with three triple amputees and two warriors with self inflicted gunshot wounds to the head and sat with them and their mothers/wives. It exhausted me...depleted me...made me sad...made me mad....made me feel somehow inexpicably empty. Unable to fix or help or heal or offer much of anything except my presence and the presence of my best friend, my service/therapy dog Kelsie.For some odd reason I felt as if we were imposing on them and imposing on a world that is all out of whack. A world that is all too real and close and frighteningly terrifying.
I sat and observed as my precious Kelsie snuggled and cuddled and brought smiles to faces I fear had not borne one in a very long time. I wondered what kind of a world this is where people do this to each other and for some to not be able to stand living any longer. Then I remembered that 18 warriors die each day from suicide. And was informed that the number of triple amputees returning from war is greatly increasing. I felt 'off' all day, as if nothing I could do would even make a dent.
This same day I had quite unexpectedly been hurt by the one person on earth I thought would never hurt me. It threw me into a tailspin. As I wondered why. I could barely speak and felt hollow in a way I never want to feel again. I feel much the same today. When the props are pulled out from under us what is it we should do? Look at the bright side? Didn't work. Try and focus on others problems that are far more severe? Maybe. But grief is grief and pain is pain and the levels don't seem to make a difference. Delve feet first into work? Write? Cry but find the pain is so bad that tears won't even come.
Defeating the feeling of numbness...at the world, at the warriors with only one limb left, at hatred, at words that cut like a knife into our hearts and souls, at betrayal. A book sits on my desk called, DON'T SWEAT THE SMALL STUFF." Well this isn't the small stuff so no help here.
Then as I so often do, I turn to other books. I open one favotie book and the pages reveal answers in some myterious, predestined way. This morning I read from LEAN FORWARD INTO YOUR LIFE by Mary Ann Radmacher.
".....if there is value in the difficult experience...it becomes more than just "loss." We lift ourselves up on the wings of our own vision and hope. Live boldly, laugh loudly, love truly, play as often as you can, work as smart as you are able. ......answer 'yes', as you walk may angels gather at your shoulders and may you know they stand with you, as you rest may all your endeavors be rooted in contentment and peace."
I am still left with questions left unanswered. Maybe there are no answers, maybe I won't see my mountains or adobe houses and the smell of pinon again. But for today I will just try and take one step after another and see where I end up. I feel quite certain that my Kelsie walks with angels on her shoulders...perhaps today I can borrow but one.