7 Years: Honoring the Trauma

7 years ago today my dad was murdered. I was really tempted to ignore acknowledging it this year. I would love to treat it as any other day, not think about it or feel compelled to write, I would like to pretend like it’s just another day or even re-claim the day as a celebration of my dad’s life and not to re-live the horror that swept into my world in 2012.

dancingwithdad

I guess I am not there yet and still need this space to process and heal. I have stopped trying to overcome the trauma, but be still with it, acknowledge and even honor it. I have come to understand that feelings demand to be felt and denying them just transmutes them into dis-ease.

Learning how to be still with these feelings has helped so much in adjusting to a new normal. Before my dad’s murder, I would squirm away from discomfort, try to distract myself from sadness, anger or fear. The gift of his death was that I had the opportunity to learn how to be present and in my feelings. I surrendered and let them wash over me till I felt like I was drowning.

And, miraculously, I knew just enough yoga to know I couldn’t just let myself drown, I needed to start moving through those feelings. Meditation and yin yoga taught me to embrace discomfort and not fear it, to be in communion with the gripping fear from the safety of my mat. Asana and more vigorous movement taught me how to release those feelings from attaching to my cells, my neural pathway, my meridians and chakras. I continue to work on shaking off, exhaling away and sweating out the feelings of anger, unfairness and extreme sadness.

There are no hacks for trauma. I have no 5 quick steps to share with you about how to get over something like this. There is no short cut, only a commitment to be in it, feel it, process it and release. Over and over and over again.

dad memorial