One phrase I’ve repeated over and over again since everything happened is “I hurt.” It’s so juvenile and unabashedly elementary, but I truly can’t think of a better way to put it. I hurt. I hurt so bad.
Nobody ever warns you about the physical pain of grief. The emotional is one thing, the spiritual is another, but there was zero heads up about the literal pain my body feels. Sure, some of that might be lingering from the 6 nights I slept on ICU floors, random chairs, or just plain not at all…but certainly that can’t account for all of it. Every muscle, joint, bone, and tear duct in my body is tired…and sore. It’s like I just ran the Boston Marathon of Grief – 26.2 miles of pain, sweat, and tears with zero reward.
When Luke was in the ICU, a word that the doctors and nurses all liked to use over an over again was “trauma.” There was significant trauma in every which way. They may as well have relabeled the room number: #trauma.
The dictionary defines trauma as:
- a deeply distressing or disturbing experience
- physical injury
Deeply distressing or disturbing experience…why yes, that sounds about right. Physical injury as well? Mmm okay, might as well throw in the two for one. Bonus buy on trauma! What a steal.
I have so much trauma, and it hurts. Physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually…I am traumatized, and it continues every damn day.
How do you heal from trauma? Can you ever really, fully heal? Or does it just live within you like a dormant virus, subsided but able to reawaken at any point it chooses with no warning? Does it just sit on your body like a deep scar, faded, but still a susceptible, sensitive reminder of the open wound that once was?
I think I’ve decided that trauma, while over-encompassing my life at this point, can never fully define me. I don’t want to look back and hyper-focus on the scars this will leave behind. Luke wouldn’t want me to do that. He would want me to embrace the scars of trauma as part of what makes me who I am.
I won’t be able to forget, but I will be able to forgive the trauma. Is that too passive aggressive? Bear with me…I’m trying.