In Memory of Mom: Life is a Journey

In loving memory_Death leaves a heartache_30 Oct 2015

Life is a journey

Life is a journey through many terrain
From gardens of pleasure to deserts of pain

From an ocean of love to a jungle of hate
From mountains of glory to canyons of fate.

There’s a highway for joy and a highway for sorrow
A road for today and a road for tomorrow.

So choose your path wisely and walk with care
If you follow your heart, you’ll find your way there.

I’ve been to the garden and planted seeds there.

I’ve been to the desert and felt the despair.

I’ve swam in the ocean and drank of it’s wine
I climbed up the mountain to touch the sky.

I went to the canyon and started to cry
I’ve traveled both highways, both today and tomorrow.

I’ve basked in the joy and wallowed in sorrow.

My Path has been chosen and I’ve walked it with care.

I followed my heart and I’m on my way there
So I’ll just keep walking till I find what I’m after.

To mountains and oceans and gardens of laughter.

Poem written and copyrighted by Angelkat50

Sinfonia_Mauritius by mom

ONE YEAR DOWN THE ROAD LESS TRAVELLED . . .

October 2014:
https://africandream01.wordpress.com/2014/10/05/tapestry/

https://africandream01.wordpress.com/2014/10/31/to-each-life-there-is-a-season/

November 2014:
https://africandream01.wordpress.com/2014/11/19/warning-emotional-volcano-about-to-erupt/

https://africandream01.wordpress.com/2014/11/27/dear-mom/

December 2014:
https://africandream01.wordpress.com/2014/12/14/why-the-obsession-with-loneliness/

https://africandream01.wordpress.com/2014/12/24/christmas-and-new-year-blessings/

animal-cute-kitten-cat-medium

January 2015:
https://africandream01.wordpress.com/2015/01/21/grief-mourning-and-bereavement-what-is-the-difference/

February 2015:
https://africandream01.wordpress.com/2015/02/03/woman-heal-thyself/

https://africandream01.wordpress.com/2015/02/08/self-care-sunday-hard-questions-weightless/

https://africandream01.wordpress.com/2015/02/13/re-investing-in-life-moving-on/

March 2015:
https://africandream01.wordpress.com/2015/03/02/how-to-help-a-grieving-friend/

https://africandream01.wordpress.com/2015/03/19/how-to-find-the-balance-between-work-and-home-life/

https://africandream01.wordpress.com/2015/03/30/what-life-has-taught-me/

April 2015:
https://africandream01.wordpress.com/2015/04/09/i-am-a-sensitive-child/

https://africandream01.wordpress.com/2015/04/14/me-the-budding-entrepreneur/

https://africandream01.wordpress.com/2015/04/26/green-is-the-colour-of-my-life/

May 2015:
https://africandream01.wordpress.com/2015/05/11/in-the-midst-of-movement-and-chaos-becoming-the-new-me/

June 2015:
https://africandream01.wordpress.com/2015/06/07/i-am-capable/

https://africandream01.wordpress.com/2015/06/22/the-pain-of-watching-a-parent-age/

https://africandream01.wordpress.com/2015/06/25/stop-the-bus-i-want-to-get-off/

https://africandream01.wordpress.com/2015/06/25/what-happens-during-a-colonoscopy/

Frangipani_Single

July 2015:
https://africandream01.wordpress.com/2015/07/11/me-the-budding-voice-over-artiste/

https://africandream01.wordpress.com/2015/07/22/what-im-learning-on-my-journey-to-wealth-creation/

https://africandream01.wordpress.com/2015/07/26/what-im-learning-on-my-journey-to-wealth-creation-part-two/

August 2015:
https://africandream01.wordpress.com/2015/08/02/how-to-increase-your-financial-iq/

https://africandream01.wordpress.com/2015/08/11/river-of-life-a-time-for-reflection/

https://africandream01.wordpress.com/2015/08/18/finding-your-why/
https://africandream01.wordpress.com/2015/08/23/wild-geese/

September 2015:
https://africandream01.wordpress.com/2015/09/01/im-not-extraordinary-enough-the-power-of-vulnerability/

https://africandream01.wordpress.com/2015/09/12/how-do-i-start-a-blog/

https://africandream01.wordpress.com/2015/09/21/my-life-as-an-introvert/

https://africandream01.wordpress.com/2015/09/28/dont-resist-change-let-things-flow-naturally-forward/

October 2015 (One year down the road less travelled):
https://africandream01.wordpress.com/2015/10/13/dear-trauma-counsellor-i-have-ongoing-flashbacks-and-voices-in-my-head-that-just-wont-shut-up/

https://africandream01.wordpress.com/2015/10/20/journaling-as-a-mindfulness-practice-for-thoughts-and-emotions/

REST IN PEACE MOM – 27 OCTOBER 2015

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In Memory of Mom: Compassion and Support

In loving memory_Death leaves a heartache_30 Oct 2015

“When we honestly ask ourselves which person in our lives mean the most to us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving advice, solutions, or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a warm and tender hand.

The friend who can
 be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion,
 who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement,
 who can tolerate not knowing, not curing, not healing and face with us the reality of our powerlessness, that is a friend who cares.”

― Henri J.M. Nouwen: was a Dutch-born Catholic priest, professor and writer

Candle & purple flowers

What I also wrote:
ONE YEAR DOWN THE ROAD LESS TRAVELLED . . .

October 2014:
https://africandream01.wordpress.com/2014/10/05/tapestry/

https://africandream01.wordpress.com/2014/10/31/to-each-life-there-is-a-season/

November 2014:
https://africandream01.wordpress.com/2014/11/19/warning-emotional-volcano-about-to-erupt/

https://africandream01.wordpress.com/2014/11/27/dear-mom/

December 2014:
https://africandream01.wordpress.com/2014/12/14/why-the-obsession-with-loneliness/

https://africandream01.wordpress.com/2014/12/24/christmas-and-new-year-blessings/

Butterfly

January 2015:
https://africandream01.wordpress.com/2015/01/21/grief-mourning-and-bereavement-what-is-the-difference/

February 2015:
https://africandream01.wordpress.com/2015/02/03/woman-heal-thyself/

https://africandream01.wordpress.com/2015/02/08/self-care-sunday-hard-questions-weightless/

https://africandream01.wordpress.com/2015/02/13/re-investing-in-life-moving-on/

March 2015:
https://africandream01.wordpress.com/2015/03/02/how-to-help-a-grieving-friend/

https://africandream01.wordpress.com/2015/03/19/how-to-find-the-balance-between-work-and-home-life/

https://africandream01.wordpress.com/2015/03/30/what-life-has-taught-me/

April 2015:
https://africandream01.wordpress.com/2015/04/09/i-am-a-sensitive-child/

https://africandream01.wordpress.com/2015/04/14/me-the-budding-entrepreneur/

https://africandream01.wordpress.com/2015/04/26/green-is-the-colour-of-my-life/

May 2015:
https://africandream01.wordpress.com/2015/05/11/in-the-midst-of-movement-and-chaos-becoming-the-new-me/

Birthday milkshake_Cheers

June 2015:
https://africandream01.wordpress.com/2015/06/07/i-am-capable/

https://africandream01.wordpress.com/2015/06/22/the-pain-of-watching-a-parent-age/

https://africandream01.wordpress.com/2015/06/25/stop-the-bus-i-want-to-get-off/

https://africandream01.wordpress.com/2015/06/25/what-happens-during-a-colonoscopy/

July 2015:
https://africandream01.wordpress.com/2015/07/11/me-the-budding-voice-over-artiste/

https://africandream01.wordpress.com/2015/07/22/what-im-learning-on-my-journey-to-wealth-creation/

https://africandream01.wordpress.com/2015/07/26/what-im-learning-on-my-journey-to-wealth-creation-part-two/

August 2015:
https://africandream01.wordpress.com/2015/08/02/how-to-increase-your-financial-iq/

https://africandream01.wordpress.com/2015/08/11/river-of-life-a-time-for-reflection/

https://africandream01.wordpress.com/2015/08/18/finding-your-why/
https://africandream01.wordpress.com/2015/08/23/wild-geese/

September 2015:
https://africandream01.wordpress.com/2015/09/01/im-not-extraordinary-enough-the-power-of-vulnerability/

https://africandream01.wordpress.com/2015/09/12/how-do-i-start-a-blog/

https://africandream01.wordpress.com/2015/09/21/my-life-as-an-introvert/

https://africandream01.wordpress.com/2015/09/28/dont-resist-change-let-things-flow-naturally-forward/

October 2015 (One year down the road less travelled):
https://africandream01.wordpress.com/2015/10/13/dear-trauma-counsellor-i-have-ongoing-flashbacks-and-voices-in-my-head-that-just-wont-shut-up/

https://africandream01.wordpress.com/2015/10/20/journaling-as-a-mindfulness-practice-for-thoughts-and-emotions/

In Memory of Mom: Scattering the Ashes . . .

REST IN PEACE MOM – 27 OCTOBER 2015

Where and how can I scatter cremation ashes?

Many people will hold a funeral memorial service, as well as an ashes scattering ceremony.

There are many options when it comes to scattering ashes.

If the land is privately owned, permission from the owner of the land will suffice. If the land is public, you will need to check with local authorities for any regulations.

Ashes can be scattered in lieu of preserving them in an urn, grave, or keeping them in someone’s home.

Some people have specific places where they want their ashes to be scattered, others prefer their ashes be scattered in a particular manner.

Some of the most popular and common places to scatter the ashes are in a river, pond, lake, hillside, golf course, hunting ground, flower bed, hiking trail, or garden.

Location will determine the method of scattering, but there is a specially designed urn called a “Scattering Urn” that can ease the task and maintain the sense of dignity in the service.

Frangipani_Single

There are several different methods that can be used to scatter ashes:

Casting – the act of simply tossing the ashes to the wind. This is usually done by one individual person or a group of people in front of a grieving “audience”. The ashes will fall to the ground immediately, but the person tossing them should pay attention to the direction of the wind.
Trenching – This is done on land when a shallow trench or groove is dug in the soil. The ashes are poured into the trench, and then the soil is raked over at the end of the ceremony. Candles can be lit around the trench or a special symbol can be drawn over the trench.
Racking – The ashes are poured from the “scattering urn” evenly and loosely on the soil. They are then racked over and into the ground.
Green Burial – A hole is made in the soil, and the ashes are pored into the biodegradable urn or the ashes are scattered onto the soil.
Raking- The ashes are poured from the scattering urn evenly on loose soil and raked into the ground. This is often how it is done in the scattering gardens that are now located in many cemeteries. Your funeral director can help you find a scattering garden in your area.
Water Scattering – A “water-soluble urn” are specifically designed to gradually disperse the ashes back into the sea or body of water. Ashes can be cast directly into the water, but may get caught in the wind and cling to the sides of the boat. A water soluble urn will float for several minutes then slowly sink where it will degrade. The family members aboard the boat can cast flower pedals as a final tribute to the deceased.

Candle & purple flowers

There is great comfort in the idea that a loved one’s remains can forever be associated with a place that had special significance to them and their family.

The ceremony of the scattering the ashes can help give family members and friends the closure they need and begin the grieving process.

Brook_Water over rocks

What I also wrote:

ONE YEAR DOWN THE ROAD LESS TRAVELLED . . .

October 2014:
https://africandream01.wordpress.com/2014/10/05/tapestry/

https://africandream01.wordpress.com/2014/10/31/to-each-life-there-is-a-season/

November 2014:
https://africandream01.wordpress.com/2014/11/19/warning-emotional-volcano-about-to-erupt/

https://africandream01.wordpress.com/2014/11/27/dear-mom/

December 2014:
https://africandream01.wordpress.com/2014/12/14/why-the-obsession-with-loneliness/

https://africandream01.wordpress.com/2014/12/24/christmas-and-new-year-blessings/

January 2015:
https://africandream01.wordpress.com/2015/01/21/grief-mourning-and-bereavement-what-is-the-difference/

February 2015:
https://africandream01.wordpress.com/2015/02/03/woman-heal-thyself/

https://africandream01.wordpress.com/2015/02/08/self-care-sunday-hard-questions-weightless/

https://africandream01.wordpress.com/2015/02/13/re-investing-in-life-moving-on/

March 2015:
https://africandream01.wordpress.com/2015/03/02/how-to-help-a-grieving-friend/

https://africandream01.wordpress.com/2015/03/19/how-to-find-the-balance-between-work-and-home-life/

https://africandream01.wordpress.com/2015/03/30/what-life-has-taught-me/

April 2015:
https://africandream01.wordpress.com/2015/04/09/i-am-a-sensitive-child/

https://africandream01.wordpress.com/2015/04/14/me-the-budding-entrepreneur/

https://africandream01.wordpress.com/2015/04/26/green-is-the-colour-of-my-life/

May 2015:
https://africandream01.wordpress.com/2015/05/11/in-the-midst-of-movement-and-chaos-becoming-the-new-me/

June 2015:
https://africandream01.wordpress.com/2015/06/07/i-am-capable/

https://africandream01.wordpress.com/2015/06/22/the-pain-of-watching-a-parent-age/

https://africandream01.wordpress.com/2015/06/25/stop-the-bus-i-want-to-get-off/

https://africandream01.wordpress.com/2015/06/25/what-happens-during-a-colonoscopy/

July 2015:
https://africandream01.wordpress.com/2015/07/11/me-the-budding-voice-over-artiste/

https://africandream01.wordpress.com/2015/07/22/what-im-learning-on-my-journey-to-wealth-creation/

https://africandream01.wordpress.com/2015/07/26/what-im-learning-on-my-journey-to-wealth-creation-part-two/

August 2015:
https://africandream01.wordpress.com/2015/08/02/how-to-increase-your-financial-iq/

https://africandream01.wordpress.com/2015/08/11/river-of-life-a-time-for-reflection/

https://africandream01.wordpress.com/2015/08/18/finding-your-why/
https://africandream01.wordpress.com/2015/08/23/wild-geese/

September 2015:
https://africandream01.wordpress.com/2015/09/01/im-not-extraordinary-enough-the-power-of-vulnerability/

https://africandream01.wordpress.com/2015/09/12/how-do-i-start-a-blog/

https://africandream01.wordpress.com/2015/09/21/my-life-as-an-introvert/

https://africandream01.wordpress.com/2015/09/28/dont-resist-change-let-things-flow-naturally-forward/

October 2015 (One year down the road less travelled):
https://africandream01.wordpress.com/2015/10/13/dear-trauma-counsellor-i-have-ongoing-flashbacks-and-voices-in-my-head-that-just-wont-shut-up/

https://africandream01.wordpress.com/2015/10/20/journaling-as-a-mindfulness-practice-for-thoughts-and-emotions/

In Memory of Mom: Flowers for my mother . . .

REST IN PEACE MOM – 27 OCTOBER 2015

This week marks the first year anniversary of the death of my mother. For this reason and for this week only, I will do a series of posts In Memory of Mom as my way of getting through this week.

I hope you will join me on this journey . . .

Funeral Flowers for Funeral and Memorial Services
One popular way to express your sympathy when someone dies is to send flowers to the surviving family or the deceased funeral. It is sometimes hard to express sympathetic feelings in words. When you give flowers for a funeral, the meaning is understood. When people give flowers, they are giving an expression of love, respect, and sympathy. Funeral flowers are just a symbol of these feelings. Funeral flowers create a feeling of warmth and beauty at the funeral or memorial gathering.

Selecting funeral flowers needs to encompass a message of sorrow, sympathy, and love.

The flowers you choose can express feelings and emotions and can send a meaningful message. Below are several popular flowers and what they symbolize to help you decide which ones you might want to use.
Lilies are often interpreted as a symbol of the innocence that has been restored to the soul of the departed. A white stargazer lily symbolizes sympathy and a white lily expresses majesty and purity.
Carnations have lasting fragrance. It was believed that the flower first appeared on earth as a result of the tears of the Virgin Mary. They are a symbol of undying love. A red carnation evokes admiration, while a pink carnation stands for remembrance. White carnations stand for pure love and innocence
Iris – Based on Goddess Iris was the links heaven and earth. Purple Iris have for hundreds of years been planted over the graves of women so that they could summon the Goddess Iris to lead their souls to heaven. The bright color of the leaves and the flowers make it popular with florists.
Tulips represent elegance and grace. The color of tulips also has meaning. Yellow tulips represent cheerfulness, white represents forgiveness, and purple represents royalty. The red tulip is said to represent perfect love
Stock flower would be your choice if you want to use a flower that symbolizes a happy and a contented existence.
Chrysanthemums (Mums) -frequently used in arrangements. White chrysanthemums are often understood to symbolize truth.
Gladiolus embodies strength of character, sincerity, and moral integrity,
Roses can be a beautiful part of an arrangement. A white rose evokes reverence, humility, innocence, and youthfulness. Red roses convey respect, love, and courage, love, grace, and gentility are the message that pink roses convey.
Marjoram conveys comfort and consolation.
Nasturtium celebrates patriotism.

Frangipani_Single

Many species of flowers come in a variety of colors, so understanding the meaning behind the colors can also help one in picking just the right flower to express exactly what they want to convey.

Blue – peace, calm and serenity
Pink – grace, happiness, youth, innocence, joy
Purple – royalty, dignity, pride, success, accomplishment, admiration
Red – desire, strength, love
White – innocence, humility, simple beauty, modesty, elegance
Orange – pride, energy, enthusiasm, warmth, confidence, satisfaction, passion
Lavender – refinement, grace, elegance, feminine beauty

Flowers can be arranged in different ways according to how you are going to display them.

Wreaths – Gladiolus. Snap Dragons, lilies, and even roses can be used to create a wreath that can be placed on the side of the funeral casket.
Sprays can be large or small. Small flowers can be shaped like hearts, nosegays and can be placed inside the casket. Quarter and half casket sprays are placed on the lowered lid of an open casket. Full casket sprays cover the length of an open or closed casket. This is usually sent by the immediate family and the undertaker normally arranges for this on behalf of the family.
Baskets serves as a keepsake and is a lovely alternative to more traditional pieces. The basket is a long lasting gift of natural beauty. A basket arrangement may also be sent to a private home.
Sympathy plants provide a lasting tribute to the loved one lost, as well as a constant reminder of the friendship and affection you wish to support through the grieving process.

Remember, funeral flowers honour the dead and console the living.

Candle & purple flowers

ONE YEAR DOWN THE ROAD LESS TRAVELLED . . .

October 2014:
https://africandream01.wordpress.com/2014/10/05/tapestry/

https://africandream01.wordpress.com/2014/10/31/to-each-life-there-is-a-season/

November 2014:
https://africandream01.wordpress.com/2014/11/19/warning-emotional-volcano-about-to-erupt/

https://africandream01.wordpress.com/2014/11/27/dear-mom/

December 2014:
https://africandream01.wordpress.com/2014/12/14/why-the-obsession-with-loneliness/

https://africandream01.wordpress.com/2014/12/24/christmas-and-new-year-blessings/

Sinfonia_Mauritius by mom

January 2015:
https://africandream01.wordpress.com/2015/01/21/grief-mourning-and-bereavement-what-is-the-difference/

February 2015:
https://africandream01.wordpress.com/2015/02/03/woman-heal-thyself/

https://africandream01.wordpress.com/2015/02/08/self-care-sunday-hard-questions-weightless/

https://africandream01.wordpress.com/2015/02/13/re-investing-in-life-moving-on/

March 2015:
https://africandream01.wordpress.com/2015/03/02/how-to-help-a-grieving-friend/

https://africandream01.wordpress.com/2015/03/19/how-to-find-the-balance-between-work-and-home-life/

https://africandream01.wordpress.com/2015/03/30/what-life-has-taught-me/

Waterfall

April 2015:
https://africandream01.wordpress.com/2015/04/09/i-am-a-sensitive-child/

https://africandream01.wordpress.com/2015/04/14/me-the-budding-entrepreneur/

https://africandream01.wordpress.com/2015/04/26/green-is-the-colour-of-my-life/

May 2015:
https://africandream01.wordpress.com/2015/05/11/in-the-midst-of-movement-and-chaos-becoming-the-new-me/

June 2015:
https://africandream01.wordpress.com/2015/06/07/i-am-capable/

https://africandream01.wordpress.com/2015/06/22/the-pain-of-watching-a-parent-age/

https://africandream01.wordpress.com/2015/06/25/stop-the-bus-i-want-to-get-off/

https://africandream01.wordpress.com/2015/06/25/what-happens-during-a-colonoscopy/

July 2015:
https://africandream01.wordpress.com/2015/07/11/me-the-budding-voice-over-artiste/

https://africandream01.wordpress.com/2015/07/22/what-im-learning-on-my-journey-to-wealth-creation/

https://africandream01.wordpress.com/2015/07/26/what-im-learning-on-my-journey-to-wealth-creation-part-two/

Mother's Day 2014 Rhebokskloof

Mother’s Day 2014 Rhebokskloof

August 2015:
https://africandream01.wordpress.com/2015/08/02/how-to-increase-your-financial-iq/

https://africandream01.wordpress.com/2015/08/11/river-of-life-a-time-for-reflection/

https://africandream01.wordpress.com/2015/08/18/finding-your-why/
https://africandream01.wordpress.com/2015/08/23/wild-geese/

September 2015:
https://africandream01.wordpress.com/2015/09/01/im-not-extraordinary-enough-the-power-of-vulnerability/

https://africandream01.wordpress.com/2015/09/12/how-do-i-start-a-blog/

https://africandream01.wordpress.com/2015/09/21/my-life-as-an-introvert/

https://africandream01.wordpress.com/2015/09/28/dont-resist-change-let-things-flow-naturally-forward/

October 2015 (One year down the road less travelled):
https://africandream01.wordpress.com/2015/10/13/dear-trauma-counsellor-i-have-ongoing-flashbacks-and-voices-in-my-head-that-just-wont-shut-up/

https://africandream01.wordpress.com/2015/10/20/journaling-as-a-mindfulness-practice-for-thoughts-and-emotions/

Life_Hand releasing butterfly

Journaling as a mindfulness practice for thoughts and emotions

animal-cute-kitten-cat-medium

Journaling is the practice of self-discovery by writing to yourself.
– Chade Meng Tan (Google)

In today’s busy world, finding physical and mental space for peace and calm amidst the competing demands of work, family and friends can be a challenge. Mindfulness is a simple and powerful practice that can help you cut through the noise and reclaim tranquillity, wherever you are.

Mindfulness can also be described as “taking an active, mindful stance by paying moment-to-moment, non-judging attention to thoughts and emotions as they arise; and facilitate their flow by putting them on paper.”

Working with your hands is one of the best ways to soothe anxiety and eliminate stress. How can you do this?

Mindfulness Journal – Exercises that help you find peace and calm wherever you are
Colouring book (for adults) – The latest trend these days. For those who prefer the pen and paper version, there are many options available in stationery shops and at online shops like Amazon:

. For the electronic gadget boffins – there are apps available which you can download to your favourite device to work on the next time you’re waiting in a queue somewhere.

How to Journal or Blog:
• Choose an amount of time you can spare each day (3, 5, or 15 minutes)
• Choose a prompt (subject/topic) – see below for suggestions
• Play! For the amount of time you have chosen, write down whatever comes to mind relating to the prompt you have selected for the day.

Brook_Water over rocks

The best approach is not to think about what you are going to write – just write it! If you run out of things to write about . . . write about the fact that you have run out of things to write about until you have something to write about again.

Suggested prompts:
• What I am feeling now is . . .
• I am aware that . . .
• What motivates me is . . .
• I am inspired by . . .
• Today, I aspire to . . .
• What hurts me is . . .
• I wish . . .
• Others are . . .
• I made a happy/sad mistake . . .
• Love is . . .

Self-inquiry prompts:
• Things that give me pleasure are . . .
• My strengths are . . .
• Things that annoy me are . . .
• My weaknesses are . . .
• My core values are . . .
• I stand for . . .
• Who are you and what are you doing?
• How I feel today . . .
• What people say about me is . . .

For more prompts check out this link:

Frangipani_Single

Adult Journal Prompts
1. Childhood Aspirations
What did you want to become when you were a child? Are you pursuing that dream or have you chosen something different?

2. Regrets
What regrets do you have? What could you do to change them?

3. New Place
Describe a time when you were in a new place or situation. How did you feel and what did you do?

4. One Day
If you could live one day over, which day would it be and what would you change?

5. Child Influence
What was the most influential aspect of your childhood on the person you are today?

6. New Project
What is one project or activity you’d like to start? What’s been keeping you from doing it?

Sea Shells

How to use technology (from cellular phones to social media) with mindfulness, meaning and wisdom.
Find out more here:

Dear Trauma Counsellor: I have ongoing flashbacks and voices in my head that just won’t shut up . . .

Vulnerability is

I have just had one of the worst weekends in my life. The trauma experienced this past weekend has left me feeling battered and bruised (emotionally and Psychologically).

I feel like I’m at the end of my rope right now. The events of this past weekend has just been too much for me. It has left me feeling frightened and helpless.

Please allow me to briefly take you through my journey. Looking at this post, it seems long but it is important for you to read everything in order to understand how I’m feeling and why I’m feeling this way right now.

Waterfall

10 October 2015 – Driving to relatives not too far from home, I am involved in a motor vehicle accident. After more than 30 years of driving, the first time ever that I drive into someone else (through no fault of my own).

First part of trauma. I’m deeply disturbed by this occurrence. For some it’s no big deal, just another accident. For me, it’s major. I’ve never made contact with another vehicle – ever except for them colliding with me.

At the same time, someone smashes into the back of my vehicle. Second part of trauma in one day. This is a reminder of the anger and helplessness I felt when it happened in March this year. Anger that someone dared to damage my vehicle and helplessness that there was nothing I could do to prevent it.

Third part of trauma – while getting my cellular phone out of my handbag, it is snatched out of my hand by a thief who runs off with it and leaves me standing there totally powerless, unable to chase after him.

This leaves me angry and feeling totally helpless. It is a reminder of an incident when I was 7 years of age and a thief dared to rip my brand new wrist watch off my arm in broad daylight and ran off leaving me crying my heart out for my loss and feeling totally helpless because not only was it impossible to run after him but even if I did, he would knock me over like a feather with one finger.

Life_Hand releasing butterfly

This last motor vehicle accident is the last straw, I cannot take it anymore. I feel like I’m broken in a thousand pieces. Messages of support pour in . . .

• “You are so brave”
• “You are so strong”. “You can get through this”
• “You won’t be given more than you can handle”
• “This too shall pass”
• “Just another knock my love. You are a strong lady”
• “He won’t give you what you not strong enough to conquer”

Why do these words sound so empty and meaningless? I know these words are meant to bring me comfort, but somehow they don’t comfort me.

When I can’t sleep because of ongoing flash backs and the voices in my head that will not shut up . . . The minute I close my eyes, my brain replays everything bad that has happened.

A mixture of the actual contact made with the car in front of me and the one smashing into the back of me mixed with the face and the touch of the person who grabbed my cellular phone out of my hand and ran off with it – my brand new cellular phone which I had only purchased the week before and was still struggling to learn how to use it.

This is intertwined with the entire 14 months of mom’s illness (from diagnosis to death) and now includes this last incident (motor vehicle accident). When will it end?

Health & Wellness Fruit Basket

What exactly is Emotional and Psychological Trauma?
Emotional and Psychological trauma is the result of extraordinarily stressful events that shatter our sense of security, making us feel helpless and vulnerable in a dangerous world.

Definition of trauma:
It’s an individual’s subjective experience that determines whether an event is traumatic or not.

A traumatic event or situation creates Psychological trauma when it overwhelms the individual’s perceived ability to cope, and leaves that person fearing death, annihilation, mutilation or Psychosis. The individual feels emotionally, cognitively and physically overwhelmed. The circumstances of the event commonly includes abuse of power, betrayal of trust, entrapment, helplessness, pain, confusion and/or loss.

Traumatic experiences often involve a threat to life or safety, but any situation that leaves us feeling overwhelmed and alone can be traumatic, even if it does not involve physical harm. It’s not the objective facts that determine whether an event is traumatic, but our subjective emotional experience of the event. The more frightened and helpless we feel, the more likely we are to be traumatised.

Black and white butterfly

A stressful event is most likely to be traumatic if . . .

It happened unexpectedly (mom’s Cancer diagnosis and my two Motor Vehicle accidents and theft of my cellular phone)
We were unprepared for it (moms diagnosis, surgery, caregiving duties and subsequent treatment – chemo and radium)
We felt powerless to prevent it (moms treatment – chemo and radium, my motor vehicle accidents, theft of my cellular phone)
• It happened repeatedly
• Someone was intentionally cruel
It happened in childhood (the theft of my brand new cellular phone brought back memories of how my brand new wrist watch was ripped off my arm at the age of seven years old). I experienced the same sense of deep loss and feeling of total helplessness.

Commonly overlooked sources of emotional and Psychological trauma:
Falls or sports injuries (my fall in 2007 which resulted in my hip replacement)
Surgery (especially in first 3 years of my life) – my surgery aged 2 – 5 years
The sudden death of someone close (my grandmother’s death when I was 11 years old)
A Motor Vehicle accident (every time someone goes into the back of my car and my recent first time experience of going into someone)
The breakup of a significant relationship (my parent’s divorce)
A humiliating or deeply disappointing experience (had a few which I’d rather care not to mention here)
The discovery of a life-threatening illness or disabling condition (mom’s Cancer diagnosis)

Mystery Woman

Trauma Reactions: There are three primary reactions (domains):
Reminders of the exposure (flashbacks, intrusive thoughts, nightmares)
Activation (includes hyperarousal, insomnia, agitation, irritability, impulsivity and anger)
Deactivation: (including numbing, avoidance, withdrawal, confusion, derealisation, dissociation and depression)

For most people, these reactions are transient and will diminish in a month. If these persist for longer than a month, it is considered to be Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and should be treated as such.

Conclusion:
I will leave you to draw your own conclusions about my experience of trauma.

How about you? Can you identify with any of this?

Let me know your thoughts.

Source of information: Joanna Beazley Richards South Africa February 2013: Trauma and Recovery