Friday, 31 October 2014

In the face of grief: Madonna Badger on resilience

Some days, all you can do is find a friend
This was a timely rerun for me. Still sick with a virus, I'm am slowly improving. It gives one time to reflect. Resilience is an important tool in our repertoire of keeping ourselves mentally and physica

lly healthy. I was pretty sick last week. I've been sick in spirit, as well, with the horrible news our country has been facing. The trolls come out of the closet. The hate mongerers darken the comments sections. The people in power who did nothing. Shameful.

What was I thinking about? The news is full of horrible stories: including the sexual harassment by a former powerful CBC personality, bullying, murders of Canadian soliders, death and dying.
When my principal harassed and bullied me. Documented with 7 single-spaced pages, the powers-that-be shoved it under the table. You cannot risk your job. I understand how many women feel.
Remember the beauty in the world
The times I was sexually harassed, groped on the subway in Toronto as a kid, have come back to my mind.
The grief you feel over mistakes you've made.
The grief you feel over dreams that die.
It is all grief.

The recent news events, has made me think about how I managed to get better. How you survive such heartbreaking circumstances?  The behaviour causes much guilt in the victim. Whether you are 10 or 20. People tell you to let it go. One cannot. One must share the burden, charges must be laid, closure must be had, things must change, and prevention is the key.
I found some comforting words.

It was an Oprah interview. She does get to the heart of things. In the light of the recent murders of two soldiers in Ontario, I found these comforting words. They say there is nothing worse than burying your children. Madonna Badger would know.

This is an amazing woman. Her three lovely blonde little girls (7-year-old twins, and 9-year-old), and her parents, died in a fire in Connecticut, on Christmas Day, 2011. She tried to save them, she climbed outside on the scaffolding, facing the horrific fire, but could not.  The powers-that-be were blaming the family, to determine a cause; ashes from the fireplace, and a lack of smoke detectors. Madonna says that the embers were dead. It sounds fishy to me. As she searched for the truth about the fire, she was blocked. She saw sparks on the home, coming from the Hydro box and arcing that Christmas Day, but the municipality tried to blame her, and had the house torn down for safety reasons the very next day. No investigation.
Badger tells us,
"There is peace in the truth. There is dignity and honour in knowing the truth."
You don't have to like the truth, but you can accept it.

Madonna spent months in bed, being cared for by a friend, under the care of psychiatrists, and finally emerged. She has recovered, remarried, but still cannot 'celebrate' Christmas.

Madonna told Matt Lauer on The Today Show that she’s been comforted by a book written by a neurosurgeon called Proof of Heaven, and further buoyed by dreams and visions of her daughters Lily, Grace, and Sarah:
I’ve seen my children in my dreams. When I pray, I see my children. Lily came to me very early on and said, ‘Don’t worry, Mommy, I’m right there in your heart and I love you.’ Once when I was having a level 10, the worst sort of crisis, (where it) feels like blood is coming out of my eyes, Sarah came to me in the mirror and she said, ‘Mommy, there’s nothing to be afraid of. Everything is going to be OK.’’’

When you share your burdens with another, they take a piece of your burden with them. This lessens your load.

When the connections between children and their parents are severed through death, the nerves are raw as the bond is cut. You need to form scabs, and heal a little at a time. Severed from the ties that bind, we must grow more skin.

You must feel the feelings of grief, experience mourning and bereavement. You can't stay outside your pain or outrun the pain, or you become manic.
I've written this: you take your cloak of bereavement out and you wear it for short periods of time, until you work through your grief. You can put it away when you cannot manage, and bring it out later when you are ready to deal with the emotions.

When you ask, 'why me?', remember, why not you? You're no more or less special than anyone else who suffers. Hopefully, those of us who learn resilience will survive and have lessons to teach one another.

"God is not a puppeteer. God cried first."

You can't think your way through your grief. You have to get up each day, just get up out of bed, put one foot in front of the other until you achieve small goals.

Read also: the difference between


William Kendall said...

Thank you for pointing her out. This gives a whole lot of perspective for me.

Red said...

Grief is complicated. WE need to be aware and prepared to share and support others. As you point out grief has many different causes.

Marie said...

What a horrible thing to happen! So sad. And as this woman works through her grief I know she is helping others. I can see she already has helped you. Life is often very hard...unbearably hard, but God is always there to go through it with us.

Yamini MacLean said...

Hari OM
Profound post Jenn. As Red points out grief is complicated; it is as individual as the person carrying it... the healing from it equally so. Role models such as this certainly help.

Warm hugs, YAM xx