Friday, September 16, 2011

Life is full of triggers

     I called my brother the other day.  There was a car accident on his street that made the television news.  It was a severe accident. I was worried that perhaps his daughter was the woman that made the news and was rushed to the hospital.  As I was talking to him I was truly surprised that I started to tear up on the phone.  I didn't mean to, I didn't think that calling him about a car accident would make me sad, but it did.  The woman in the accident wasn't his daughter and I did find out during our conversation that the woman was okay.  But again, I was surprised that my voice was starting to crack on the phone and I had to change the subject to keep my brother from hearing the sadness in my voice.

     How many of us have had phone calls though that have changed our lives?  Too many, this is a fact I know only too well.  So many of us have had that call "The ambulance is on the way." "There was an accident"  "I'm sorry to tell you this, but (fill in the blank here)."  I know you all could give me a long list of variations.

    Again though, I didn't expect to be saddened five years after DJ's death about a phone call that had nothing to do with me personally.  When does the sneak-up grief end?  Does it truly ever?  I have taught myself to be aware of things, triggers I call them-that may cause me to be sad about DJ.  Triggers like seeing his best friends around town, triggers like seeing skateboarders around town or on television.  Triggers of senior pictures that are coming my way from his class, triggers of his pictures, posters, toys, t- shirts on his brother or sister.  These are things I'm aware of, I can see coming and have taught myself to divert my brain from.  I do a "180" with my thoughts to keep myself from falling into that hole, into that grief.  That phone call was a surprising trigger for me.

     What is your trigger?  Are you far enough in your journey to be able to pull back from that trigger, to divert your thoughts?  Are you far enough though that you wish your pain was still so strong, do you worry you are forgetting your child by not grieving so strongly?  Or are you so close that you cannot say your child's name yet without tears flowing?   Both time lines suck, too close and too far away from our child. 

     I am sorry we all have triggers.  I am sorry that we have to retrain our brains to not have severe grief hit us.  I am sorry we are away from our child and awaiting a reunion that probably won't happen for years and years.  I am sorry we all have broken hearts. 

     I am having a book signing at the Bookworm in Omaha at Country Side Village on October 8, 2011- if any of you are local and can come I would like to meet you and encourage you.  I am sorry we are all in the same boat and only too well understand each other's pain.  It is DJ's 5th anniversary of his death on that date so you can all come and encourage me as well.  Take care dearest friends, Lisa-forever DJ's mom




  1. My daughter left on June 27,2007. I to try to divert myself from the extreme grief that I felt in the beginning. I'm still taking medication and it helps. But I understand what you mean when you brought up the fear of not grieving enough, forgetting your child... I thought that when I started the medication because I could start functioning again. I wasn't breaking down in sobs, grief that was so strong. Hard to describe to someone that hasn't lost a child. Such extreme pain. I think of my daughter everyday as I know anyone that has lost a child does. The emptiness is always there. A part of you is missing. But I have my youngest daughter that is now 21 and I am here for her. You mention triggers. When they hit... I let the sadness come and then pause and let it go. Tears are good. They help you move forward. Thank you for your blog. Mary Forever Genevieve's mom

  2. I agree about tears, they help get the poison and the pain out!! I am glad you have your youngest daughter-as I have my youngest son and oldest daughter-we all need someone to hold on to during this!