This life I lead today is different from the one I led before I lost my friends, my daughter and a grand child, whose eyes never opened outside the womb.

Over the last few years, I have been shocked into pain and anguish; thrust into it without my consent.

The death of a best friend, the loss of a granddaughter, followed by the loss of a daughter and bookended by the loss of a second friend.

Death has been busy.

But apparently it was just a prelude.

With the shock of a punch in the back, I was accelerated into a pace of action that I had the logical mind to understand, without the ramp up to prepare. The tsunami of emotions and subsequent trauma were comprehensive, all-inclusive and heavy.

Like a weighted blanket, soaked with water; both freezing cold and boiling hot simultaneously.

Saying goodbye…who knew it would result in exhaustion, a zombie like numbness to stimuli, and a dull grinding ache like the slow-motion drilling of deep holes into hard wood during a long, hot and humid summer.

But again, it seems that it was just a prelude.

Today I am worried and burdened, with the odd feeling that there is something very sad happening…to us all.

Over the next several weeks it has become increasingly clear that Death and Disease will visit the houses of many of us. It will be a shadow that lightly touches some and a hurricane that wreaks havoc for others.

I am sorry and sad in advance.

As an introvert and someone who enters the world feelings first, I am concerned about how I will manage the onslaught of sadness that is just a few days away…and will last for weeks

…and weeks

…and weeks.

How does one ‘work out’ and develop the kind of internal strength necessary to maintain a mental, emotional and spiritual center when potential tragedy is just around the corner?

I have only my recent past to serve as prologue.

After my daughter passed away there were hundreds of people who reached out to me; to let me know they were thinking about me; to let me know someone was there for me.

I was awestruck by the compassion.

I am thankful for the self awareness and humility to let others hold me up when my legs could not be trusted to bare the weight.

I am certain, after having visited the seemingly deserted island of loss and grief myself, that I was wrong…that in fact it is not an island at all, nor is it deserted; it is densely populated with people who care.

For those who are, or will experience loss; you are not alone. There are many there, here and elsewhere who want to support you, in healthy ways, and help you with your journey back to a new normal.

A couple strategies to consider:

  • Build/Reach out to your network before you need it.
    Many of us have a group of people who we trust – and who trust us – to love and support us in the healthiest ways we know how. Now is the time to reach out to them. In part to let them know you may need them…but also to let them know you are there for them, in this moment and beyond.
  • Find someone to help.
    Whether she is a Physician who needs you to make her laugh on the way home from work with a phone call, or he is a Custodian who would appreciate a surprise, home-cooked meal left on his porch. They may even be a Truck Driver who would love to hear an update on ‘The Tiger King’ phenomenon.

Help someone… they need it; you do too.

For those of you who are able to reach out to others and those who are not, in advance of the tragedy that may befall you and your family, please know that I wish you strength for the journey you will have to walk; that each day you are in my thoughts.