Counting Blessings after Trauma and Grief

Counting blessings is an option every day.  You may have heard of a Gratitude List for a morning or evening routine to begin mindfulness and acceptance in our lives, well, I have practical recent experience in it’s benefits!

My father passed away suddenly at home on the early morning of Saturday 2 May.  This was very shocking to our family and particularly to my mother.  The events that followed are a slight blur of family phone calls and the feeling of complete helplessness being so far away.  I was very grateful that my siblings and extended family were there to help my Mum.  I was also grateful that my new contractors for this business were extremely understanding and allowed me my own grieving time.  Extreme gratitude goes to Jane who gave me full support in every way.

It is a blessing that my father passed the way he did in some ways.  The pain for him was not protracted and his time of illness not prolonged.  In the midst of grief and loss, I can be thankful that my father didn’t suffer long.

I had a commitment in Katherine that prevented me from flying straight out  to Perth.  I am grateful my family were able to arrange the funeral for Friday later that week so I could attend.  I booked my flight for Thursday.  On Tuesday 5/5/15, while driving to Katherine in the afternoon, my car tyre blew while doing 130km per hour on the Stuart Highway near Hayes Creek.  My vehicle rolled 5 times and the car is a right off.  My foot went through the windscreen and was partially de-gloved at the scene.  Why oh why now does this happen?

Read more in the book “Count Your Blessings: The Healing Power of Gratitude and Love

The next few hours are a blur. My husband, the driver, literally walked away from the accident.  He opened his door and assisted me.  Immediately, truck drivers stopped to offer assistance. The mines rescue team were there in 5 minutes.  The Adelaide River Clinic Nurses were there in half an hour.  The Care Flight chopper was there in an hour or so.  I was in a neck brace and flat on my back for spinal precautions and received pain relief immediately.  The care from everyone was top class.  I count all those blessings that I did not lose too much blood and that help was immediate.  I am extremely lucky to have ‘walked away’.  I was in surgery on Wednesday evening.

Helpers came from everywhere! The Nurses at RDH, the surgeons and family and friends.  Can you believe I actually got on a plane at lunch time Thursday and flew to be with my family.  Sure I was in a wheelchair, I had drains and tubes and bruises like you wouldn’t believe, but I was able to be there.  I have to be grateful for that and put it high on my list that I could give tribute to my Dad at his funeral.

My Mum came back to Darwin to help me.  She is 83 and able to still do enough that she is a great help to me, my husband. my 3 cats and my chihuahua!  I still can’t walk today, and it is the 30th May!

So, from the highest point of my recent life starting a new business with all the joy and excitement that it brought, to the lowest point laying in an Operating Theatre preparation room not knowing if I will make it to my fathers funeral, or have a big toe, all happened in a matter of days.

I have learnt through mindfulness and self care, that there is something I can find each day to put in my gratitude list.  It has helped me get through the recent hard times.  I have constant medical appointments and insurance issues to deal with, as well as normal life ‘stuff’.  Each day I am thankful it is my toe and not my eyes that went through the windscreen.

If you are going through a hard time, and I confess, times are much harder than my recent experience, I encourage you to have a go at a gratitude list.  Just write down 3 things right now that you are grateful for.   Your ability to access the internet and read could be one of them.