It’s simply unavoidable. A large part of who I am right now is an individual dealing with loss, grieving over the lives of four loved ones who were all lost in the same crash.

With the holidays already in full swing, the loss feels even greater — deeper on a daily basis and more suffocating. I took a break from a task at work today to read a very compassionate e-mail from the man in my life, and it was so heart-felt that I wound up in tears. Tears for the people I’ve lost, tears for the support I’ve gained since and tears for the challenge I face every day to continue to be who I want to be in my own life.

An Old Soul

Ever since I was a kid, I’ve been told that I have wisdom beyond my years. Whether it meant remaining calm under pressure, finding solutions as soon as problems would arise, or speaking my mind at a time when others were struggling to find words, I have often found myself to be in a position of personal strength.

That’s a valuable position, and to be the one who can bring peace into just about any situation has always brought me a measure of pride in who I am.

But the personal tragedy that unfolded before me in April 2011 has changed all that. My self-confidence, my patience and my inward source of strength have all come crashing down. I find myself flailing again, as I once did in my college years, trying to find myself and determine my place in the world.

Looking for the Light

It’s overwhelming.

I have been so focused on specific and small parts of my existence, that I feel as if I have been walking through life with tunnel vision. I can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel because I am so lost in the darkness, and all around me the walls feel like they are closing in.

On the days that are the hardest, I can’t seem to find that internal source of strength that has kept me so steady for 28 years. On those days, my energy is depleted and my morale is so low that I just barely get through the day. And the people who are affected by it the most are my friends, my family and the man in my life — along with the sweet little canine addition to our family.

It’s these people — people who mean so much to me and who are doing so much for me to help bring me back from the abyss — that make me want to find my inner strength again. But I don’t know how. Whatever wisdom I had intuitively in my college years that compelled me to dig deeper inside myself for answers now seems elusive.

I just hope that I can find the strength to revive my spirit.

The man in my life needs me, as we are talking about taking steps toward forever. My newly adopted puppy needs me, as she was a rescue and came with her own baggage from the past that she needs help to overcome. My family needs me, as they too are grieving through their first set of holidays without our loved ones. My friends need me, as they are mostly new and our relationships with each other are just beginning.

And in the midst of all this, the only thing I seem to be doing any good at is my job, as it is much easier to complete projects and meet deadlines than it is to self-actualize.


While such a daunting recovery can’t be achieved overnight, I am sincerely grateful for the people in my life who will help me see it through.


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