Three months ago my colleague asked me to read the book called ‘Daring Greatly. Often I have a whole lot of random conversations with people and I think nothing of them. However, this conversation, I took to heart for some reason. So motivated was I to read the book, that I looked for it for two whole weeks. I did not think much about the reasons for my motivation; just something in my gut told me that I needed to listen to this guy. Let me put this into context, this guy is not the kind you listen to. He is an eternal cartoon character who barely ever takes things seriously.Yet I kept going until I found the book and when I did, I actually cut out some time in my extremely busy and crazy day to read it.
Sometimes, this book became my pillar of strength. I would spend all day just looking forward to curling up in bed and letting the author speak to me. I found a new level of commitment I never knew I had, while reading this book. The author is no comedian, she doesn’t provide as much thrill as James Patterson does and when it comes to romance, she is no Danielle Steel. I found this puzzling, the book was like a drug I kept jonesing for.
Two weeks ago, I received a phone call informing me that my uncle had been involved in an accident. This phone call started what would turn out to be the worst week of my life. He was in the ICU for six days with tubes coming out of basically every part of him. The thing is, this uncle is practically like my father. We are a pretty close knit family. He had 10 fractures and he was in terrible pain until they decided to put him under. I would leave my workplace during lunch to go and see him every single day. For six days, I stood in front of his bed hoping to hear him laugh or even for him to lunge at me and tell me it’s all been a bad joke and that he is okay. The worst thing wasn’t seeing him in that state either (I was hurting so much inside that I thought my insides would tear apart), but having to walk outside and tell my cousins (his children), that he would be fine. Here is the thing, I knew he would not.
Normally, I am the kind of person to fall apart and get angry at the world. I would go into a cocoon and start to act out. However, while reading this book, I have discovered how to find joy and not concentrate on the misery that sometimes pursues us. I would spend half my day in hospital and the other half at work laughing at everyone’s bad jokes. When I needed to talk to someone, I would talk and let myself be vulnerable with them. At each step of the way, I talked to people and told them that I was worried he would not make it. When I look back at those two weeks, I wonder if the girl who had not read that book would have made it through. I wonder if she would have been able to be there for her cousins or she would have ran away to leave them to deal with their grief alone. I wonder if she would have been willing to say hold someone’s hand in a situation where she was most likely to say the wrong thing.
My uncle finally passed on and for the first time, I saw someone break down and I walked towards them instead of away from them. I have learned in this book, that there is no one single way to do something right. There is no one single way to grieve. As long as you are beautifully you and vulnerable, you are doing it right. It has not been an easy journey for me. I have had days when I was scared to be alone because all the images in my head were of his battered body on that hospital bed. I have however found so much solace in being vulnerable with people. I have found courage in other people’ s stories. I have found purpose in knowing that I have to call my cousins and tell them that I am there for them even knowing that this may never be enough.
This whole experience has taught me about purpose. There is a reason I picked up that book and there is a reason why my uncle died. I may not understand it right now, but I feel it in my gut, that things will be okay. So to you struggling with so much pain you feel like you will never be okay again, there is a reason for it all. Hang in there, we are broken to built up again. Here is a short video of Google engineer, Mo Gawdat who speaks about coming to terms with the unexpected death of his son, Ali Click HERE to view – How to Be Happy