Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Grief as a gift.

I had just left the chiropractors office where the receptionist was watching a live stream of the Boston Marathon. She was an avid runner herself and had a handful of friends competing. Incoming phone calls were answered as she multitasked and filled appointment slots while keeping watching the crowd of runners for those she knew.

I was getting my lower cranky back adjusted. I pushed a little too hard in the team time trial on Saturday afternoon, through the gusts of wind and up hill. My body, unaccustomed to the lower position, protested the next day as I was putting down my 10 pound bag, getting ready for the Air Force Academy road race. I felt a sharp pain in my L5, S1 and couldn't stand up straight. I decided to go out to the race anyway, just in case it was a fluke tweak and see if it would loosen it up by riding.

The line for registration was 50 people deep. I opted instead to get dressed in spandex. I attempted to lift my leg and pull on my shorts, only to feel shooting pain. Nope, no racing for me today. My immediate thought went to the bigger fish to fry next weekend in Greenville. If I'm going to throw my back out, it's going to be at a big race.

That night I had trouble sleeping. It hurt to lie down. It hurt to sit. It especially hurt to stand. I aged 50 years in a nanosecond. My dreams were erratic and I was being chased by a monster.

The next morning I emailed a few people asking for massage recommendations or seeing if I could get into the Olympic recovery center. Mike Durner responded with a referral of his chiropractor, Dr. Jeff Mathews just south of downtown. Lucky me they had a morning opening. It was there I saw the receptionist watching Boston.

Minutes after I left the explosions started. Social media blew up. Normally, Benjamin is my source for what's going on in the world. But when he's gone I frequently peruse FB and Twitter. The tweets started flooding in, adding to the confusion and angst. What is REALLY going on?!?

It brought me to the day Ryan died. When I had so much confusion, so much angst and so many unanswered questions. And now, a Nation is asking themselves those same questions. I want to help, in  any way I can.

Here's what I can offer to those affected by the bombings. And by affected I mean in any way connected to the Boston Marathon. You didn't need to be there to feel its enormity, to witness its ripple effect.

You have permission to be sad, angry, upset, tired, anxious, and guilty. It's okay not to be sad. It's okay to not know how you feel yet.  We all handle tragedy in a unique and personal way. There's no right or wrong. There just is.

Slowly, and often without notice a gift will emerge. It is your choice to let it. To let this reminder of mortality help you live the life you long for. To stop settling for things. To bring fulfillment and happiness into your life now. Trust me, it will happen if you let it.

1 comment:

Sarah Kopf said...

This is a really great post. And I love how you sympathize with different WAYS to work through tragedy---because that's reality. I try to pay tribute, but stay very quiet. My husband doesn't shut up and goes out of his way to make a positive impact on everyone around him. (Read: Make them laugh.) People react differently.

Hugs! I hope you're feeling better!