My husband’s aunt died last week from a traumatic brain injury. She recently had a series of strokes and was on high dose blood thinners. She was one of the loveliest people I have known. The police are investigating it as a domestic violence homicide with her husband. They were married for 60 years. I cant believe that two people who were together for so long ended up hating each other to the point of possible murder. Both their children recently died violent deaths; one from a car accident and one from a wrongful death by police gunshot. I wrote a rather bitter Cinquain HERE on relationships that go wrong. It is dedicated to Aunt Jean.
I haven’t been sleeping since this happened. I am SNARKY, jumpy and impulsive and oversensitive and “taking things the wrong way”. Last night I had a handful of sleeping pills in my hand, feeling desperate to get some rest, and Heath Ledger popped into my head. This was how he died. But I can understand the desperation one feels when, night after night, one’s head will not let one relax enough to fall asleep. It is beyond exasperating. I put most of them back, and for some reason slept “like the dead”. I guess from pure exhaustion. I’m glad I had the sense to stop and think before my knee jerk decision to “knock myself out”.
I’ve been thinking about perspective, resilience and gratitude this week. I have allowed the stress I’m under at work and home to undermine basic gratitude. Simple stuff like a warm house in the cold weather with heat that works, a nice bed to sleep in, plenty of blankets, a family who loves me in spite of myself, a job (no matter how stressful and difficult!). I have forgotten to remember the simple stuff and have been focusing on my anger over my dad’s death, and now with my aunt. My resilience to stress is at an all time low. Last week I tried to hide from it by immersing myself into WordPress, but it was a distraction only. Hiding from life wont solve anything.
I have found that taking a few minutes each day in peace and quiet to just BREATHE and be grateful for some little item that I have that many don’t is helping. Even blankets in some parts of the world is considered a luxury. I am so fortunate. I use this time to pray and ask God to help me remember to be grateful and to change my perspective.
The right perspective turns any tragedy into a triumph.