Monday, November 8, 2010

Tuesday's Trust - The Fifteen Per Cent Factor

Tuesday's Trust

The Fifteen Per Cent Factor

(My computer just got zapped tonight. Bummer. Right now, I am borrowing my son's computer to do Tuesday's post. I would greatly appreciate your prayers ~ I am hoping it is "fixable" and/or at least that I can save all my documents.)

In Waking the Tiger, (the number 1 book on for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder), it took trauma therapist/author Peter Levine only 6 sentences before he said in his prologue,


(highlights, mine)

This fact is one that we child-loss grievers know experientially, but that those around us don't seem to understand at all.

The trauma of losing a child has many ramifications. We know that the brain is impacted. Just one of the ways we grieving parents have been impacted by this impairment phenomenon is:

It takes twice as long to do anything; we cannot be hurried.

I just read an essay by Stephen Marsh, an attorney and a grieving father of three of his four daughters each dying separately and unexpectedly, within a span of four years. Stephen says in his essay, "Surviving Loss" about what the grieving parent goes through in child-loss:

"Most parents who have lost a child operate at about 10 (per cent) to 15 of their normal capacity for at least six months.

Suggesting that the person "do more" when they can actually do 85% less is insisting that the person do things that gratify the demander -- often at the expense of whatever energy the person has to care for their family and remaining loved ones."

Tommy and I would add, we don't think this incapacity lasts for just six months. Four years after losing our precious daughter, we feel we are still functioning at about 10-15% capacity, wondering where the other 85-90% went, and if it ever will return.

Two examples from our lives happened just today. These examples give a good clue of how fiercely our lives have been impacted by this seemingly irreparable trauma of child-loss:

Tommy has always loved music, and has played in different bands (as an avocation) since he was 14-years-old. A former band member (from a band that was playing together just before Merry Katherine was killed), called Tommy up today and asked him to rejoin the fellow band members who had all gone their separate ways since those days, and play a gig for a professional gathering he is planning. Tommy declined, and later told me,

"My heart is just not in it anymore."

The band member reluctantly accepted his answer and said,

"You are just too good to never play again!"

As for me...

In a surge of energy today, I went with Tommy to the grocery store and bought some ingredients to cook one of (my middle child) Nathan's favorite dishes. When I went downstairs to call him up for supper and told him what I had cooked, he smiled delightedly, and said,

"When did you decide to be a mother again?"

Wow. How telling....

I am sure each of you grieving parents has an example or two similar to this in your life. We would love to hear how you are doing and what kind of impact your grief is having on you.

Despite our incredible disability that we are doing our best to navigate through, it is my strong hope that I understand God's Word correctly that

"He who started a good work in you will be faithful to complete it."

~Philippians 1:6

because at this rate, I cannot even fathom how, humanly-speaking, I ever will be able to complete much of anything in my own strength...

The beauty of using my son Nathan's computer tonight is that Nathan made himself available to help me pick out a picture for tonight's post, and introduced us to the following video, keeping up the great characteristic of our families in retaining a good sense of humor in the midst of even the most tragic of situations... {Thank you Nathan! :0) }

essay by Stephen Marsh:

picture of "li'l brudder": thanks to

Waking the Tiger : Healing Trauma : The Innate Capacity to Transform Overwhelming Experiences, by Peter Levine, Amazon's #1 rated PTSD book:

"li'l brudder" video: thanks to the suggestion of my son Nathan


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