For those who haven’t read any of my previous post I would like to bring you up to speed with what this blog is all about. I write so that I can process some aspects of the process of dealing with grief. I lost my wife to cancer just over 8 months ago. She was more than my wife, mother of two beautiful intelligent young girls, daughter, sister and friend. She was and is my soulmate. The pain that I have experienced along this journey can not be described, it is so intense that at times I have believed I was taking my last breath. I also write this in the hope that I am able to assist some one, and yes I only mean one, to know that they are not alone on their journey of grief. I do this so as to honor my wife Yolanda. I do this so that I am in a better place in order to help my girls grow up in a loving caring environment and that we will use this catastrophic loss in our life’s to assist and help others. The loss of Yolanda must bring about a positive response, how else could we honor her life and the great memories we have of our life together.
Recently I have been talking with Milah our daughter more and more about Mom and how she is handling everything. One aspect that we talk about often is the “Ambushed” moments that catch us off guard, that throw us emotionally to the wolves.
past tense: ambushed; past participle: ambushed
1 make a surprise attack on (someone) from a concealed position.”they were ambushed and taken prisoner by the enemy”
2 attack by surprise, trap, surprise, pounce on, lay a trap for, set an ambush for, lie in wait for, waylay, entrap, ensnare; More
◦ confront (someone) suddenly and unexpectedly with unwelcome questions.
I believe the above definition makes the point even stronger, “surprise attack”, “from a concealed position”, “pounce on”, “ensnare”, “suddenly and unexpectedly” and “unwelcome”.
Recently we were out for dinner and after paying the bill the waiter produced a leaflet to show a special they were offering for couples, when I mentioned to him that my wife had passed away he made the leaflet disappear so fast you could easily have mistaken him for a magician. Normally this situation could have been that “ambushed” moment. I however believe that due to our many discussions on this topic that we were better prepared to handle this situation. I don’t believe that there is a magic formula that works every time, I do however believe that by “training” ourselves through many conversations we were able to dodge the bullet this time. Next time the bullet might strike and rip us apart mentally, emotionally and possibly physically.
As part of military and law enforcement training, in order to handle an ambush, is calming and breathing techniques. This technique can also be applied when we are being “ambushed” emotionally. Learning to find the calmness through breathing techniques allows me to not react emotionally but rather start to see the gaps between the trees.
A quote from Gregory Maguire ” Remember to breathe. It is after all, the secret to life. I firmly believe that if I become overwhelmed by the ambush then all I need to do is breathe, this then brings about a calming effect. The calming effect then allows me to focus and be present in the moment.
Lastly having a strategy to deal with these ambushes doesn’t mean that I won’t be ambushed in the future. It just means that I am equipped to take another step on this journey of grief.