When the police and coroner told me Nolan was gone, time stood still.
For some of my grieving parent friends time remains at that heartbreaking moment.
I would never say I want to go back to that day and relive it. Even now I can feel the disbelief – “this is not happening, this is not happening” I said aloud over and over while I searched for Nolan’s last visit summary from the psychiatrist to show the coroner what meds he was taking. I just couldn’t think.
The weeks that followed Nolan’s death are not easy to remember with full detail. Anyone that has lived through a loss or shock to your life understands. Bits of sleep you try to take with many hours laying in bed wondering how and why and what you missed or could have done differently. Day after day of little to no sleep and such high emotion and trauma puts your brain on overdrive.
But I do remember … the weeks after he died I had the gift of living in the moment.
Those weeks that came after Nolan died I would wake up and only be able to have the goal of making it through the day. To think about the future was impossible. The past too painful.
I had to live in the moment to survive.
When you have your life turn completely upside down you look at things in a different light. I am unbelievably blessed to be in a practice where I was able to take as much time off as I needed. I have the best partners= friends at my practice who covered my office, my call and took care of ALL of my responsibilities. ALL OF IT.
All that responsibility, pressure, stress of work and call was pushed aside immediately. I knew I could not do any of it. I went from focusing and worrying about so many other people (yes – I sometimes worry about my patients) to having so many people care for me.
I felt spiritually lifted. Suddenly I was free to think about myself, my family, people who love me and who I love so dearly. I had full commitment to being myself without the responsibilities of my doctor life. I spent time with family and people I love. It was healing.
So what is it like now – almost eighteen months later?
Grieving puts me in a place where the future is sometimes too painful to think about – it is a place where I am missing a piece of me. The past is a garden of good memories but also ones you wish you could change but cannot.
The present is now. I am here and alive.
When thoughts of either past or future pull me too far from my center I breathe and try to be present – to live in the now. I feel Nolan here and it makes me smile.