Sudden losses are devastating and very uneasy. The uncertainty, the unknown. You are never prepared. Is it even possible to prepare yourself? Maybe you know it can happen, but you never imagine it will happen. Until it does.
LINATE PLANE CRASH
In 2001 my father and half brother died in the Linate plane crash. The uncertainty, the unknown. The unexpected! It was Monday. They’d been on holiday in Italy and 2 weeks later a postcard arrived saying: “Everyone should see Venice before they die.” Crash! In a blink of an eye. Blink!
Your world flips and your game changes.
I was immediately lost. Wish I had done active and outdoors back then. You learn a lot from being active, outdoors and pushing your limits. But I didn’t trail run and I didn’t do yoga. I still got through it, I had to.
How can a sudden loss be turned into a highlight of your life? Is it even possible? Yes, it is. This I have learned.
HOW TO TURN LOSS
COURAGE Dare to stand and be in the uneasy, face the emotions. Being in them, acknowledging them is how you get through them.
PRIVILEGE Anybody can suddenly be gone. Including you. Don’t waste it. Live it. Appreciate it. It’s a privilege to be here.
GRATITUDE Be grateful for what and who you have, don’t get caught up in the things or people you don’t have.
GET OUTSIDE Active and outdoors is very healing.
FLOW Grief is a complex part of life and there is no wrong or right.
ACCEPT Let the low give you strength. Yes! Feeling sorry for yourself only helps an instant (we all need that instant) But staying in that pity won’t help you work through or move on. Life moves on, and that is a good thing.
TIME It takes time. Give it that time. The hardest part was about 8 months post crash. Giving it time, it does get easier.. but first its hard.
POSITIVE How can you turn your low into something positive? Every single low can be turned into something positive. Always!
PERSPECTIVE You are not alone. You realize this when you open your eyes and start listening or sharing with other people. Knowing someone else has gone through something similar – or worse! Puts things in perspective.
EMBRACE Never rush through the low, embrace it. Dare to be in it. That’s a way to work through it.
IMPORTANCE Losing loved ones in such a trauma taught me to value who you are not what you do. You are not defined by labels, degrees, positions, locations or achievements. Embrace life, live it.
DEALING WITH IT
I didn’t deal so good with uncertainty and unknown back then. Find them harder to handle than fear and failure, especially then.
“Losing family in a trauma is very stressful. You are constantly working with yourself and others in shock!”
Don’t know if I deal better with it now. Maybe. Active and outdoors sure help. Also having kids of my own makes me humble for the loss of any child, its so cruel and against any circle of life.
Has this really got anything to do with my journey? Yes. What counts and what not.
“That low has given me today’s highlights!”
THE PROCESS OF GRIEF IN TRAUMA SITUATIONS
It has gone 15 years. I don’t think of this trauma or my father & brother every single day. Some things fade other things are bright as if it happened yesterday. Flying to Italy to identify, eating Mozarella, the panic around us, the heavy sadness inside and that cold October morning.
Somewhere there has always been the strong urge of wanting life to continue – on a happy note. Its tiring to be in grief and its ok to move on. The process of grief in trauma is interesting! Sometimes it takes months, maybe even a year before I think of this. I learned a lot about myself and even more of others in this trauma. Grateful!
THE INVISIBLE PLANE
Today I saw a documentary about the crash for the first time ever – many years later. Informative! It made me feel uneasy and heavy, just for a moment. Grief is always there but it doesn’t have to mean you’re constantly crying.
ON A HAPPY NOTE
To this day every take-off humbles me and reminds me how precious life is. And it’s up to you to make the best of it while you are around. Tomorrow you could be gone.
Be with the ones you love, love the ones you are with.
Life does go on (it has to!) And there is always something to be grateful for. Always! I wanted to long-run to have time with my old man and little brother. I only made half the distance, had to head back home to husband and children who “needed” me. That’s what I love about life going on. Super girls do cry, but not for long. Big hug!