Trauma and Transition

The trauma said, ‘Don’t write these poems. Nobody wants to hear you cry about the grief inside your bones.’

Andrea Gibson, The Madness Vase

When a deeply distressing or disturbing experience occurs, it takes time to heal. For some, the healing takes a very long time; for others, recovery is never realized at all.

For most, sharing the experience is difficult. Perhaps, it is because we can never fully understand another person’s grief. Maybe, we are afraid to relive the nightmare.

For me, I share to put distance between myself and my circumstance. I hold on to the memories like the string on a kite, but I allow the winds of change to carry it far above me.

During Abraham’s cancer treatment, it became my job to go from appointment to appointment, managing medications, side effects and emergencies.

Now, he is no longer under the constant supervision of a team of exceptional medical professionals, and the psychological and emotional processing of all we’ve been through has begun.

When cancer treatment ends, patients and caregivers must find a “new normal” during the adjustment period. The appointments, medications and emergencies are fewer, but not ended. Only now, we are on our own to determine which aches and pains might be “normal” sick, and which ones require further evaluation for “The Big Sick.”

Just as this transition hits, friends might begin to figure the dangers have passed and we should be celebrating. We are indeed celebrating, but it is a cautious enthusiasm. The security of the hospital is hours away, and the active fighting is over. The scary part becomes the realization that our weapons are down and we are hoping the enemy- the tumor- stays away. But there is never a way to know for sure, and a lifetime of vigilant defense against a silent killer has actually just begun.

So what of it then? Do we sulk and cower? Do we live in fear of the unknown?

No, we adjust. We accept the change and grow in faith that what lies ahead is ours, and what is ours is to be lived most fully.

Peace…

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