As we enter the 11th month of our grief, I feel a collective fragmentation where once there was connection. Tragedy pulls and tugs at the heartstrings amongst us and we return to a place that is forever changed. Life without Gabbie. What does this mean?
On November 28th 2014 our beautiful Sarah lost her soulmate. The beautiful boy that brought laughter and joy and hope to us all, took his last breath beside her in a mini-bus on a rainy afternoon in NZ. Their adventure ended in tragedy through exhaustion and I remember getting that call like it was yesterday. I remember the words spoken amongst parents and children and family and friends, the frantic planning and flights booked in a blanket of shock and denial. These are details that are etched in my mind, raw and fresh. Others fade with time. All are part of my story.
After the accident, we floated through each day in a surreal landscape, riding waves filled with pain and shock and disbelief. We held each other. We cried. It is indescribable. I felt as though I had been punched in the gut and I could not catch my breath. The wind was taken out of my sails. Although I was not in this accident, my body seemed to remember a pain from long ago that led to an understanding that rocked my soul. I too, lost a friend at a young age when he was hit by a drunk driver. My empathy for Sarah came from an inner knowledge buried long ago within my 15 year old self and I identified my own pain alongside hers. What an epiphany! This led to many conversations and questions within. Sometimes these questions came in the middle of the night, sometimes during the day and in time they have become less and less. When they do come, they are hard hitting and sometimes unexpected. I breathe and I sit with it and I send out my Love to the Universe.
When tragedy strikes and we lose someone we love we go into fight or flight mode. We re-evaluate and analyse our life. We ask the “big” questions, or at least that is my experience. Sometimes we get the support we need and other times we have to work through it on our own. Never the less there is no “right” or “wrong” way to do grief. We just do it!
Our daughter is alive and well and thriving despite this great loss and she has matured in so many ways beyond her years. As a mother, I wish I could take all the pain that lingers away but I cannot. Only time can do this. We have a long way to go but we are getting there. We miss you Gabs!