By Tracy M. Houchins
October 4, 2016
Without warning, profound sorrow continues to swoop in. But it doesn’t grab me by the ankles, holding me under while I try to find my breath like it used to. On June 5, 2016 I was given devastating news. My only child ~ my beloved Chelsi ~ was found the day before on Springer Mountain in Georgia. Four months ago today she chose to leave her body and her physical life, freeing herself of her human suffering. At the foot of the Appalachian Trail, she took her last breath. Until very recently, I had been trying to catch my own breath. I am painfully aware that I have more healing to move through – it’s going to take some time – but I feel I have turned a corner and headed in the direction for what I have been seeking ~ my new normal.
Until this week I have felt Chelsi’s death is the worst thing that could have ever happened. Then it struck me. The truth is, the worst thing that could have ever happened would be that this quirky, cool, brilliant, creative, humorous, empathic, caring, loving, beautiful young woman lived and died for nothing. That would be the worst thing ever. But she didn’t. On the surface it appeared that Chelsi preferred to live in chaos, creating pain and suffering for herself, and that was that. But as I have learned from many people who have shared their story with me since her death, Chelsi gravitated to people during the most troubled time in their lives. Offering encouraging words and visions of hope for them, she helped them see their beauty and acknowledge their greatness. An advocate for those suffering themselves, she helped them see their lives from a higher perspective. Chelsi was walking the talk. She lived the life of a certain kind of Earth Angel. This realization opened something within me. It’s as if I am now seeing everything with a fresh pair of eyes. Before this new awareness I felt as if I was merely existing in the wake of disaster from the loss following my daughter’s suicide. The necessary path of grieving that I have been called to walk is not my own. I walk it with everyone who has or will grieve the loss of a loved one. This is a sacred experience and there is much to be learned so we can heal and grow spiritually.
It is not my intention to use this space to dwell on the past, but to utilize it to share life experiences with heartfelt authenticity as I move through and heal the profound sorrow on a quest to find my new normal. It’s my intention that what is shared here offers hope for those going through any life challenge.
It’s not our job to be strong all the time. I can’t heal when I’m holding my breath. Breath is the salve that will bring about the healing. I once heard Carolyn Myss, Medical Intuitive and Mystic say, “If we were meant to get through the big stuff in our lives by ourselves, wouldn’t we be through them already?” Breathe deeply with me and we will learn and heal and grow together.
With so much love,