I drove to Cincinnati on a Wednesday morning to see my dear friend Linda, who has been battling cancer for many years. (Please say a healing prayer for her.)
I arrived in Cincinnati late afternoon. Before heading to Linda’s, I stopped by our family’s old house and cried a river of tears over a life that was behind me.
Every single memory of my boys playing there, laughing and climbing on trees and pantry shelves; of my husband Matthew and me working on the house, booking concerts; of sharing meals and drinks with our musicians and friends before departing on tours; of arguments and frustrations, of tears and kisses – every single memory flashed by in my head at the speed of thought (which must be faster than the speed of light because I stood there for only a few seconds). Then it all crashed into my heart, awakening grief. I broke down and cried for a while. . . . Then I took a few breaths and stopped my thoughts from dragging me down into a place of despair.
I knew I had to move through this grief. I had gone to Cincinnati to see Linda, to give her a hug and to hold her hand for a short while.
So, I paused and intentionally silenced the thoughts that were feeding my grief.
Instead of thinking thoughts of how Matthew was not there with me to share these memories, I said, “Thank you, Matthew, for living them with me.” Instead of thinking how I missed having little toddlers around, I said, “I’m so grateful for who my boys are today.” Instead of thinking about how much suffering Matthew had endured, and instead of reliving my own anxiety and feeling of helplessness, I whispered: “You are free of all pain and fear.”
I sang for Linda and held her hand. She smiled peacefully and gave me a thumbs-up when I said I’d stop by again in a few weeks.
I drove back to Nashville that same evening and collapsed into bed.
Although I was exhausted, I lay awake for a long time.
I couldn’t change the fact that Matthew would never be sleeping next to me again. I couldn’t make Linda’s path any easier. . . . I couldn’t know what lies ahead…
My only choice was to either let pain and fear crush me like a 30-foot tidal wave and drown in my own tears, or I could let them pass through me like a storm.
And the next day? Well, after going through a storm, one must recover. So, I stayed in bed. (Thank God for my mom being around and my job being flexible!)
No matter what is going on in your life right now, breathe through it. . . .
Stop the thoughts that drag you deeper into despair and darkness and, instead, think ones that give you strength. (It’s really just a different way of saying, “Look for a silver lining,” or “Keep your eyes on God.”)
And allow yourself to heal after a storm…
With love and gratitude,
Tatiana ‘Tajci’ Cameron