It hasn’t happened to me for ages but it happened to me twice this week. One I managed to dodge and the other came out of the blue surprising me with its impact and in a moment engulfing me with its fury. I’ m talking about grief triggers. Those events, sounds, smells, and sights that transport us wham, bham straight back into the pain of our grief.
Dodging and Ducking
It’s hard to say there’s anything good about them but I have found over time and based on this recent experience they blow in and out like a willy willy. A quick flurry of devastation and then gone!
Grief triggers are very individual, based on our own emotional experiences and responses to our loss. For me both were associated very particularly with my sons accident and last few days of his life. For you my triggers may be completely irrelevant or touch indeed a deep part of your own hurt. For others it will be a song which can transport you back in a moment and trigger a memory so powerfully tears will immediately well up and overflow with no abate.
They really are painful and don’t we wish we didn’t know just how much. It is often the unexpected ones that are the most difficult to deal with because we cannot be prepared. We cannot dodge them or avoid them in any way. They come to us suddenly and unbidden. A mini-second where our reactions are automatic and visceral and before we have time to pause, to control, to rationalize we are transported back to a deep remembrance within us and our pain explodes.
I will not know when the next one will come, if ever. Who knows? I do know that each time it might surprise me yet each time I will know more of myself, of my grief and of what it means to live with courage. To live with a strength I never knew I would ever need and to live always with a deep forever love in my heart.