Cultivating Strength Through Tragedy

Cultivating Strength Through Tragedyfeatured

“Fall down seven times, get up eight.”– Japanese Proverb

Today marks one month of Jake being physically gone. Time seems to have flown by, but at the same time it feels it is going as slow as possible.

It’s hard to deny the raw feelings that come with grief. The deep sadness, the anger-it’s all there. The memories of the good times we spent together flood me sometimes and while sometimes I smile, sometimes it hurts too much that I burst into a ball of tears.

I cannot predict how my emotional body will respond, rather I let my body respond the way it needs to release and heal the pain inside of me.

Some day I deeply miss him and I want him here next to me experiencing new moments, not reflecting on memories that I know I’ll never have again-or rather-will continue to experience in new ways and with different people.

What I am learning is it takes time to adjust, to discover the new “normal”. It’s never going to be the same and while that’s okay, we must grieve this as well. My world has been flipped upside down and I have to look at life with new eyes. I have the opportunity to turn this tragedy into something that transform me for the better.

As I take time for self reflection and discovery on my healing journey I realize that I am never alone in this letting go process. Not forgetting, rather I am learning to live with all of these raw emotions and experience living through my authentic self and breathe out what I need to move forward.

I remember I have opportunities to cultivate strength to heal and move forward, one day at a time.

Strength doesn’t mean I am always “strong” physically and emotionally, rather it means I let things fall apart as they need so I can find room in my heart to rebuild myself. It takes time, patience, and a lot of self love. Strength to be who I need to be as I grieve my loss and make room for something new and loving to enter.

You can’t give tragedy a reason for existing; there is noting pretty about it. These moments come into all our lives and sometimes they change the course of our life. Jake was one of these moments for me. He became my beautiful tragical love story that I needed to grow stronger.

It is these tragedy filled moments that change and grow us as a person for the better. In these moments all we can do is be completely present for however painful or fearful they may be. I have learned not to run, but rather to use my arms to hug and embrace those that I need around me to get through these what feel like unbearable moments that I know in time this too shall pass.

I bring my feelings of sadness, of fear, of guilt to the table and invite them to tea, as a friend once told me. I don’t want to run from these emotions, I want to grow stronger from them, but first I must have the courage to face them with mindful awareness.

Although I knew what was about to happen down the road when I found out the cancer came back with Jake, what I was not prepared for was the moments I would go through during and after, my continuous healing journey. Picking up the pieces of myself again and learning to weave them into a different, but wiser and more loving person I was destine to be.

Learning to fall in love with the moments all over again and find strength inside myself to remember what we had, but move forward in my hopes and dreams. “Keep smiling and remember to laugh,” Jake would say. 

Tragedy has brought me great pain, but it has also been a great teacher for me in moving forward in life as I learn to process the pain and trauma, rather than remain stuck in making sense of what just happened in my life and how I was going to move forward despite this great loss.

I still encounter moments of great sadness of anger that the person I loved is now gone, but I also take time to experience moments of joy and peace. In this tragedy Jake has brought me closer to myself so I can deepen my inner strength.

All we have in our life are moments. Slowly these moments become memories and later in life we look back on these moments and sometimes wish we had cherished our time with that person more.

When we live our moments to the fullest when tragedy does hit us rather than loose our self in the moment we take time to breathe. To be okay with not being okay and to know through the moments of our life we will find strength in the love we had.

At the end of the day I find myself reflecting on how far my journey has brought me, all the experiences and hold and the memories I have cherished along the way. My life has brought me to this very moment into my life that has brought me to more time of self reflection than I’ve ever had, but I need it more than now.

I am learning to love myself through all of these moments and know that this is not the end, rather this is the beginning of something new, different and full of opportunity to heal and bloom into the woman I am meant to become.

It is my strength and a loving-gentle perspective that carries me through.


About the author


Feeding The Heart is a blog and resource dedicated to empowerment for whole heart living after trauma. I'm a writer, trauma sensitive-informed yoga teacher, and a trauma survivor here to share my story and journey of holistically healing.

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