Awareness: All in a Weekend

Part One: Liam

Liam’s been on my mind a lot. I’m really aware of the ten year reunion of his life and really aware that it only lasts for nine months. And this awareness feels important. I’ve put out an intention to check whatever this is out; to be open to…anything.

Part Two: PTSD

On Friday I went to a training for an intervention (SBIRT) and at the very end we touched on PTSD. I was reminded that sometimes people who have been diagnosed with PTSD do not remember the trauma. Or if they do remember it, they don’t perceive it as such. It’s a coping mechanism, right, and it helps people—us—to get on with our lives. So, not remembering and/or not identifying with a trauma—that’s in my head all weekend.

Part Three: Sadness

I was watching Grey’s Anatomy on Saturday (I am in fact a little embarrassed to admit that) and at some point in the show I was crying. Not just choked up, but real sad, wet tears falling. And it wasn’t the first time for me and Grey’s Anatomy. It got me thinking about what gets me crying.


There is this scene in Dumbo where Mrs. Jumbo is all locked up and Dumbo goes to visit her—you know what I’m talking about—with the song and the big tears (?) gets me going every time. Right, so this, coupled with the training, leads me into thinking about my own perception of Liam’s death. And all at once I have this recognition that I am sad.

But wait, that’s not true. I’m really not a sad person. For real.

It’s more like I have been carrying around this deep well of sadness and it’s hidden somewhere within me. And I can tap into it in an instant when I’m watching a tv drama. Or an old cartoon that I not only watched as a kid, but that my own kids have watched what seems like a thousand times. I should be desensitized.

Part Four: Yoga

I went to yoga earlier this evening and I got my butt kicked in the best way possible. Very intense and very challenging. Jill, our instructor, was settling us in to savasana (our last pose for the night) and she took us through a visualization. She asked that we imagine something that we love very much and to focus on it. I was flipping through images in my mind and realized that Liam was the natural something. Through instruction I brought up vivid memory of Liam, focusing in on his face, his expressions, what he was wearing, what I was feeling, the light in the room, etc. I was then instructed to have a dialog with him about what it was I loved about him.

And there I was, in corpse pose, crying silent tears into my ears and hair. I love the joy, laughter, and happiness. The ease, calm, and patience. I love the teacher and the old soul.

She then told me to take all of those qualities and give them back to myself. To fill me up with what I love about him. I am what I love.

I’m a bit at a loss for what else to say. It was powerful and moving. It was effective because I was open and ready and things had lined up in such an interesting way.

I don’t think the sadness went away tonight. Instead it has been brought fully into my awareness and in that sense I won’t be able to ignore or avoid it (or not know that I’m ignoring or avoiding it). In all of this sadness, this is exciting. This is what I love about therapy.


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