January 3, 2011 quickly became the worst day of my life. Our middle child, Kelligar “Kelli”, died unexpectedly in my arms along a quiet highway in northern Arizona, while on our way to St. Louis for her to receive medical care. I indeed felt her last heart beat and her last breath. And quite frankly, I still see that moment as if it were just happening, whenever I close my eyes. And to use a quote from our youngest son, Aidan, "it sucks." Everything about Kelli’s death sucked. It was a terrible ending to a terrific story. Being the youngest baby in the nation to receive a double-lung transplant, she was certainly failed by medical professionals in two states and her life did not and should not have ended the way it did. She died from malnutrition – caused by the inability to eat - in excruciating pain.
On that day my house became a metaphorical mess.
So I can say I am intimately familiar with being derailed from everything I know that is normal. I have experienced grief and anger at a level I did not even know existed. I have dealt with the mind-numbing symptoms associated with post traumatic stress syndrome. Simply, I lost my desire to live; I lost my mojo.
Time and the help of a loving family and friends has helped me regain a version of my old self. Some better, some worse, and all of it a work in progress. But through it all, my deep desire to help others has helped me once again find clarity, set new goals and move forward. The help I offer, is indeed the advice I myself have taken.
I believe we all have the answers, we just have to clear the mess that gets in the way so we can hear our own answers!