Moving Forward After Trauma

We’re going through trauma, severe personal trauma. The questions, ‘Why? Why me? How could this happen? Could I have prevented it?’ consume us. Our hearts and minds crave an explanation – something, anything – and get none, and without those answers, moving forward seems impossible…and yet the truth is, only when we move forward can we come within reach of the wisdom we’re actually seeking. Therein lies life’s peskiest paradox.

I lost my soulmate-husband a year and a half ago. In one unimaginable moment, a careless minibus driver smashed our world to smithereens. I must have asked those questions a million times, and I added another thunderous one: Who dared take my babe away, who authorized his demise? Because I could not imagine that God/Great Spirit/Allah would do this to me – give me my soulmate after decades of prayerful requests and then pluck him from me at the height of our journey to Oneness, when we were at our happiest; could not accept the platitudes, ‘God knows best’ and ‘God does not give anyone more than they can bear.’ Why give us anything to bear at all? Seemed downright cruel to me.

But I had to go on, for my old nonagenarian mother’s sake, and when I could cry and rage no more, the questions stopped. Everything else had stopped anyway—dancing, laughing, joking around, doing fun things—because a part of me had died with my beloved, and somehow, instinctively, I knew that for my own sanity, I had to stop asking why. Now, I have always been deeply committed to a happy life, been this way since childhood, and I knew I had to find my way back there or die physically. A window opened up in my closed heart at a party last New Year’s Eve, when I heard a tiny whisper: ‘If you can’t dance for me, then dance with me.’ And when I closed my eyes, there he was, his face radiating love and laughter, doing his cowboy stomp like he always did to galloping disco beats. I kept my eyes closed and danced all night with him, and when I tumbled into bed in the wee hours of the morning, I was in seventh heaven.

I knew then that dancing was my way back, so I joined a Caribbean Zumba class. I can’t say when the insights actually started, but a couple of months into Zumba, I realized that I’d begun to get answers to those questions. Some of them I didn’t particularly like, but they allowed me to finally accept that there is a spiritual reason behind everything, even my soul-mate’s death.

To those of you out there dealing with similar traumas, I say, find that something that will open your hearts again, and it will lead you to the path of recovery.

About Maureen Marks-Mendonca

MMM started storytelling in the schoolyard at age 9. Before becoming a novelist, however, she travelled the world for many years as a diplomat and economist. Eventually, volunteering with youth brought her full circle. Now creating magic in novels for the young, and the young at heart, allows her to travel beyond time and space! Join Alex Springfeather in a riveting adventure to a world beyond time in Legend of the Swan Children! IF YOU CAN'T FIND LEGEND OF THE SWAN CHILDREN IN YOUR AREA, ask your local bookstore to order it, go to www.macmillan-caribbean.com to purchase, or get it from your favorite online bookstore!
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