‘Trigger Moments’
those unexpected moments that arrive unexpectedly,
ambush us without consent,
and bring us back to a time and place with a loved one who has died.

Those moments can be sweet,
and at the same time
they can cause deep pain,
intensifying our desire to have just
… one more week
… one more day
… one more opportunity
to share in laughter, conversation, creativity, travel, ‘holy silence’ together.

Today was such a day for me.
Whenever my husband or I had a medical appointment
the other went along as company for the ride
and as companion for reviewing what had transpired in the appointment.

Today was my first appointment with a new specialist.
But instead of “we” going, it was just “me.”

Sitting in the office, tears flowed
and I was helpless to stop them.
Trigger Moment.

I wanted to go outside and “get over it.”
But instead, I let the tears flow
… did some deep breathing
… and acknowledged that the tears and sadness were part of the grief experience
(aka – I wasn’t “losing it”).

Friends from out of town had arrived in their RV
and the plan was for the three of us
to play tourist in my little car after my appointment.
But I wasn’t up to it and knew that I needed to
“care for my husband’s wife.”

I encouraged them to borrow my car and play tourist on their own.
They understood.
 with maps and the “what to see in the area” suggestions I’d given them
they were off for the afternoon
and I found comfort in sitting on our deck
beside the chair my husband used,
sipping cold lemonade
enjoying the peace, quiet and beauty of our back yard
feeling his presence in a gentle way
and knowing that eventually I would get over that unexpected Trigger Moment
that left me reeling with the pain of loss.

Trigger Moments are a natural part of healing from loss.
I know that.
But all the same, I don’t like them.
And there will be another T
rigger Moment
… guaranteed.
and likely when least expected.

What to do when that happens?
Hopefully, the tears will flow;
deep breathing will happen;
an acknowledgement that tears and sadness are part of the grief experience
will be understood;
and there will be a recognition and acceptance that
in time,
healing will come.

It’s all part of life’s journey.

At the moment our loved one entered our life,
… we began a process of change and learning
and entered a new phase of life’s journey.

At the moment our loved one left our life
… we began a
new process of learning and change
and we entered
another new phase of our life’s journey.

And in the grieving time, a process of change again
… another new phase on life’s journey of learning and ‘becoming.‘ 

As difficult as are the Trigger Moments of grief,
may we welcome and allow them space and time
to bring healing into our lives.

Our ChairsOverlookingGarden-DSCN9980

Photo and Text © June Maffin

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