A Broken Mind & Heart: Overcoming a Place of Darkness & Trauma

It was.  It has been.  It will forever be the singular event that would change my life forever.  In May of 2014, my best friend Karen Martin would die of a massive heart attack.  I had traveled to Orlando, Florida for a long-time overdue visit.  We had planned to have dinner once I arrived.  Yet,  it would be a  vacation turned upside down as her family and friends prepared for her funeral even before I got off the plane at Orlando International airport.

She died.

I remember in Kodak color where I was on the plane, standing up looking at someone in the center aisle, scrambling for a pen and piece of paper to take some information down.  Then, it was the call to one of Karen’s other friends that made this nightmare I was now experiencing as bright as the day I was living in.  Shell shocked, adrenaline pumping, and in a whole new place I had never been, I knew my life would never be the same.

The Unsupported Call Home

I called home to my “mom.” My biological mother, was heavily involved in a non-profit that provided grief counseling to families  I thought surely she could provide resources to help me navigate this unknown territory I now found myself in. On the phone, I would be met by the words,”Get Over It.” It only added insult to injury.  She wasn’t happy that I had taken this trip and somehow used this situation to express her frustration to me.  To this day, I have never heard differently.  Almost eight years later.

I was on my own.  Not even out of the airport yet, I had to evaluate my next steps, but my brain had stopped thinking clearly, I had lost any appetite I had, and I was feeling the immediate emptiness, that was now engulfing me.  I had lost the one person on this earth that knew me best, and loved me for me.

I wouldn’t begin to know the depth and breadth of the loss for several years.  I entered a state of mental, emotional, physical, and financial survival.  It was a beginning and an ending at the same time.

To be continued….