M Offered Me Tough Love as I Grieved

M often gave me tough love as I grieved. During a pity party, M challenged me to choose to live. She said it wasn’t easy, I’d have to frequently make the decision to counter the violence of the emotional storms I experienced. Here is an excerpt from Dancing Alone: Learning to Live Again where M helped me make it through another emotional storm:

“I’ve never experienced emotional storms with wind gusts reaching hurricane strength. They strike at times of their choosing. . . . I was listening to music when one of our favorite songs played. My emotions were overwhelming and I couldn’t stop the tears. How do I handle these storms, M?”

M offered a soft smile and a question. “When the tears and shaking stopped, what did you do?”

I gave M a quizzical look in reply.

“What did you do?” she asked again, softly but firmly.

“I moved the clothes out of the washer and into the dryer. I made a healthy salad to go with supper. And I put more bird seed in the bird feeder. Why?”

“I’m hearing you say you had an emotional storm. You weathered it. And, you chose to go on living. You didn’t crawl into a shell and feel sorry for yourself. . . . What’s your problem?” M pressed on. “You had an emotional storm. It came. It brought its winds. You survived. More will come. You’ll survive. You’ll survive as long as you choose to live when the storm ends.”

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Excerpt From: Dancing Alone: Learning to Live Again by Ray Calabrese. This material is protected by copyright

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