In August of 2009, Sue’s son was the victim of a murder-suicide. In the aftermath, all she had left was grieving, bereavement, guilt, hopelessness, tears, and doing all she could to put one foot in front of the other. She was cut to the quick, yet with great courage she carried-on. And then came an epiphany…
I originally posted this piece on March 25, 2014. Since that time, there has been a significant development, which I’ve shared at the end of the article. If you haven’t read this piece yet, you’ll have a nice flow. If you have, scroll on down to the end, if you’d like.
By the way, Sue asked if I would post an image of her smiling, so folks don’t think she’s an unpleasant whiner. No one thinks that, Sue, but image posted per your request ; )
Okay, on with the original piece…
Ah, but before we get to that epiphany, how ’bout just a bit more background?
Sue’s loss that fateful August day went well beyond her son being murdered. He had a two-year-old daughter, the three of them making a household. Within days of the murder, Sue’s other son, and wife, flew in from out of the country to take the little girl out of state to adopt. They were supposed to come back for good-byes; however, a decision was made to leave from a closer airport – and off they went for home. Since then, Sue’s living son has very little to do with her, and provides her with next-to-no news about her granddaughter.
Can you imagine the devastation?
Sue contacted me regarding counseling services some three years after the disastrous events. She worked so hard in gaining insight into what was going-on within, and she never opted-out of a session. And you can be sure many were extremely painful.
Two weeks ago I received an email with the following attached. Please know I have Sue’s permission to share…
Today is March 8, 2014
Nobody defines me. Today defines who I am. I’m either the person I want to be today or I’m the person I was last night. It’s my choice.
The only thing that is in my life at this point is me and whomever I choose to let in. Past hurts will keep hurting unless I choose each day.
Today I don’t have to be anyone’s child, sister, wife, mother, aunt or grandmother. If friends are important to me, then ok. If not, again, ok. They will live their lives without me, without my guidance, without my advice without my good wishes. They will choose to live their own lives.
I’ve got one more chance, but I have that chance again every single day. I can do exactly what I want to do, today. I can feel exactly what I want to feel, today. It’s my choice. I’m fortunate that I love the work I do because I can afford the life I’m accustomed to and I like the lifestyle I live.
I know who I am. My name suits me, or I change it. I have intelligence, compassion and a sense of humor. I am fortunate to have them. I have freedom and the means to go where I like. I can read anything, study anything, learn anything and do anything I choose; within my own boundaries.
I can present myself to the world as exactly who I am. I can opt to put the things I’ve done behind me and forgive myself for any hurts I caused. I can start over and try not to make those mistakes again. Or I can make them all over again.
But…I can choose again every day. I can make that choice again tomorrow. I can choose to wallow or I can choose to stand up and start a new day. I can live in the present. I can start to believe that the present is precious. I can choose not to hurt myself anymore.
Staying stuck in my son’s lives is staying stuck. I can choose not to live anyone’s life but my own.
That declaration wasn’t born of a homework assignment – I had absolutely no idea it was coming. No, the thoughts and feelings suddenly came to Sue on the date noted, and she took the time to so eloquently express them.
I know for a fact what you read is the culmination of months of hard and painful work. Along the journey, I tried to convince Sue progress was being made within, even if she couldn’t sense it. Understandably, she wasn’t buying. But then, the epiphany.
And that’s how it so often works in the world of self-examination and processing. Whether or not we realize it, those wheels of recovery, relief, and healing are turning all along. Goodness is evolving, with positive developments we can use and enjoy along the way – even if they’re teeny-tiny.
And, yes, so often comes an epiphany – the grand connecting-of-dots experience. Just like Sue’s.
Bereavement, grieving, mood disorders, anxiety situations, stress – all that come with them. Sure, awful circumstances; however, all is never-ever lost.
Just ask Sue…
Hey! Sue would like to lend a hand to those who may find themselves in the midst of similar circumstances. If you’d like to communicate with her, please drop me a line – I’ll get the ball rolling.
Early during the week of March 31, Sue informed me her living son and his wife decided her granddaughter was no long welcome in their home in Austria. He said he was flying her to Louisiana where she would become a ward of the state. Sue wasn’t having any of that, saying she’d meet her son anywhere and bring her granddaughter back herself. Her son made the travel arrangements.
On Friday evening the 4th of April, Sue flew from Houston to Istanbul. And is flying from Istanbul to Munich to rendezvous with her son and granddaughter as I write this update. After “refreshing” for two night in a hotel, Sue and her granddaughter will fly home to Houston – through Istanbul.
Sue texted me from the Istanbul airport this morning. While waiting for her flight to Munich she befriended a woman who was about to embark on a sailing trip. Sue shared she was jealous of her. The woman replied, “Sue, I’m merely having an adventure, you’re saving a life.”
I’m sure thinkin’ so.
Sue and her granddaughter have arrived home – safe and sound. Let’s see now, Houston to Istanbul to Munich to Istanbul to Houston in three days. Absolutely amazing!!!
Tons of mood and anxiety ickiness – and recovery – info at your very fingertips. Chipur titles just for you.