This week, I have been going through the rather typical and expected emotional roller-coaster after dealing with a tragic event. My personal resilience to deal with a spot of post-traumatic stress (not “D” for “disorder”, but “S” for “stress”) is built and supported greatly by…
…those on whom I lean for support.
First of all, my loyal, thoughtful, and loving husband. He listened, held me, let me cry and emote, and never once second-guessed or criticized anything I did (or did not) do. Without question, he supported me 1000%. I am so grateful to have him as the rock of my soul. When I am fragile, he is always there to mend me.
Second, my family. Calls from my siblings — almost all of them — and some nieces and nephews too — let me know that they love me and care. They, too, listened, consoled, and expressed how very much they love me. While I know deep down and intrinsically that my brothers, sisters, and family truly care for me, sometimes it’s just nice to hear that in their voices. What was interesting is that I told only one of them (who else, my twin brother) and soon enough, the family love began rolling in. Twin Bro rallied the troops!
Third, but no less important — my long-time friends. The outpouring of support and thoughtfulness as expressed on a certain social media platform has been flabbergasting and somewhat embarrassing to my humility. When a high-level official posted this, I almost cried:
You set such a good example for others by posting this and sharing your feelings and your processing of stress and grief. I really admire you.
I was not looking for those kinds of comments, but yes, that medium (and this blog) is a way for me to express my thoughts and deal with my grief and emotions.
Fourth, the police and fire friends, neighbors, and responders: from the police officer on scene who took care of me and followed me home, to the first-responder community in general — their hearts, and caring concern for all involved, are evident. I appreciate their concern and follow-up with me. (BTW, to a loyal reader: the officer who helped me referred to himself as a “cop.” Most of the police motorcycle officers I know and sometimes ride with also call themselves “motorcops.” So maybe it is a cultural thing that the word “cop” isn’t considered pejorative where I live as it may be with you where you live.)
I also appreciate very much that a Firefighter/EMT buddy went with me to the hospital to check on the motorcyclist who crashed. He was able to provide support to me and context to the situation. Why did I go there? I really wanted to know what happened and to reassure myself that the biker would survive and have a life with more birthdays, holidays, and family time in the future. Albeit his life will be different, I do not judge.
I know that EMTs and paramedics, firefighters, and police officers see these kinds of tragedies regularly. They respond and do what they need to do to save lives and provide life safety. I admire that. I once was volunteering at that level, but a long, long time ago. I am not an EMT any more, but the skills and training sunk in deep and procedures were recalled when I needed them most.
I am also grateful that I maintained “responder composure” during the heat of crisis, and only after professionals took over, I could “lose it.” That is quite normal.
I have long said on this blog that I feel very connected to family, true friends, and my community. I have also exclaimed to the top of the hills how much my Spouse means to me and that I can always count on him for his unwaivering support. I am truly blessed.
Life is short: appreciate those who are “your” bedrock and who sustain your personal resilience.