Tell Me All Of It ...

I’d invite you to sit down.

In the chair next to me.

I’d breathe with you.

In and out. In and out. In and out.

So your mind could slow down. And your heartbeat could soften. And your body could begin to release the tension and tightness you have been carrying for such a long, long time.

I’d let you know that it was okay for you to speak. Or to remain silent. For as long as you liked. For as long as you needed. 

And when you were ready to talk.

I’d listen. To all of it.

I’d give you the opportunity to start wherever you wanted. At the beginning. The middle. The end.

It’d be okay with me if you jumped around. If you repeated yourself. If you forgot some of the details, or some of the order, and had to go back and start over.

I’d be okay with me if you cried. A lot.

I’d give you the opportunity to tell me about the death of your beloved.

All of it.

I’d let you tell me about the day your life changed. Forever.

So many people ask me, “Is healing possible? If it is possible, what do I do? To heal?”

Yes, healing is possible.

And contrary to popular belief, part of the way we heal is to tell our story over and over and over again.

Why?

Because the truth is, that at the time of our loved one’s death, if we were really able to fully grasp the magnitude of what happened ~ and all it’s implications ~ most of us would not be able to survive. Literally.

If the breadth, and scope, and all-encompassing reach of our beloved’s death came crashing down on us in one explosion, we ourself would implode.

It’s just too much.

So, our spirit, our mind, our body protects us by allowing the truth to sink in slowly, over time, at a pace that we can live with.

And it’s in telling the story of what happened ~ over and over and over again ~ that we are able to see and come to know the truth. The magnitude. Of what has happened.

We comb through the details. We relive the sights, the sounds, and the smells. We ask, “What if and Why didn’t I and If only ...”

And nothing is off limits. We look in every corner. Every crevice. We turn over every rock.

So that nothing is secret, or hidden. So that no part of the experience is hands-off, or locked behind a closed door. We allow no part of the experience we’ve lived through to have any kind of power over us whatsoever. We walk through all of it.

And it’s painful. Really painful at first.

But we keep on telling our story. Over and over and over.

And after much time has passed. And we have told our story more times than we can possibly remember. We come to the day when we begin telling it again. Like we’ve done so many hundreds of times before. Because we know that telling the story is a path to healing. 

And we discover that we can’t tell it. Not another time. We don’t have the energy, or the desire, or the strength, or the need to tell it one more time.

We just can’t do it.

And with our exhale, we say to ourself, “This is what healing feels like.”

I’d invite you to sit down.

In the chair next to me.

And when you were ready to talk.

I’d listen. To all of it.

 

5 comments

  • Hapy New Year Rob and Kristen!I just don’t like the name Robsten. Love names Rob and Kristen. Robsten is unpersonally for me. They are indiivdual persons, not siamen twins, not some thing. Don’t blame me i don’t like Brangelina and Zanessa names too.

    Monica
  • you’ve touched my heart in this one chapter I’m looking forward to reading your book i recently lost my baby and boyfriend. You gave me hope and peace of mind knowing that I’m not alone with all of these mixed feelings that i feel daily.

    Lexie Contreras
  • Tom, your words truly inspire me to let go of all the anger & deep greif. It’been a long 23 yrs. When I receive your(no matter what the cover looks like) I will be sharing with a family member who recently lost her 1st born son. She is also dealing with cancer & trying to continue to raise her young son by herself. God is smiling down on you Tom ♥

    Louise Atkin
  • Tom, your words truly inspire me to let go of all the anger & deep greif. It’been a long 23 yrs. When I receive your(no matter what the cover looks like) I will be sharing with a family member who recently lost her 1st born son. She is also dealing with cancer & trying to continue to raise her young son by herself. God is smiling down on you Tom ♥

    Louise Atkin
  • If everyone of us, could have someone that would “listen to our stories” there would be a lot less walking wounded people…….walking around. this was beautiful to read, andgave me hope that there are people like Tom Zuba……..out there!!!!

    Nancy Lesko

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