By Christine Michaud
“When it rains and pours it opens doors that flood the floors we thought would always keep us warm and dry.” (Train)
That song played on my IPod as I crossed the finish line of the Toronto Lakeshore ½ Marathon in September 2013. Eleven months before that I was diagnosed with colon cancer, seven months later I left a 26 –year career at a daily newspaper and exactly three months after that I lost the love of my life to a massive heart attack. Indeed – when it rains it pours.
My roller coaster ride of 2013 had amazingly hopeful climbs and heart-wrenching descents.
What I discovered through all this was grief has many different faces. Some people grieve for a death, some from a breakup, some for a job loss. This life-interrupted experience can’t always be fixed…. but it can be carried through.
So carry through. Live with what you have at the moment because although it’s painful to have something taken away, it’s what you have left that counts.
Everyone will have their own way (or ways) to carry him or her through. The key is to find the one that suits you best. In the beginning, I had three: wine, retail and running – not necessarily in that order. When I drank wine I cried – but I cried all the time anyway. The indulgence of shopping numbed the pain. But it was running that became the secret tonic to my sanity. Every day I would lace up and head out for a run. And the best part through all this? I couldn’t cry and run at the same time and it didn’t cost me a dime ….so I continued to run. My sister called me Forest. I would challenge myself to run further every day. And I became stronger – emotionally and physically.
When that life-interrupted moment happens, it’s your strength that will get you over those emotional hurdles that will hit you head on. And they will hit you. Hurdles of fear, self-doubt, agony and despair….. all will challenge your strength. I developed the best foot forward plan that included the things I needed in my life to carry me through. I am sharing them with the hope that you will add more and share them with someone:
“Get busy living or get busy dying.” (Shawshank Redemption) Even in your darkest moment, choose to put your best foot forward
Find your joy:
She’s out there. In small or large packages joy will heal your wounds and inspire you to carry through and brighten the shadows that hover over you. And if you don’t already have one….get a dog. Little Miss Georgia-Peach has been such a shining light in my life.
Be kind to yourself:
There is a reason why they instruct us that in an emergency when flying to put your oxygen mask on first. You are no good to anyone – including yourself – if you don’t take care of
There is a reason why they instruct us that in an emergency when flying to put your oxygen mask on first. You are no good to anyone – including yourself – if you don’t take care of you first.
As you get stronger you will start to look forward to the future but will always be grateful for your past.
Trust in yourself:
Rediscovering yourself can be scary, but on the other side of that hurdle is a person who is sure to shine.
Originally posted 2016-02-29 16:41:38.