All we can do is keep breathing

trees in park
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Just like that, April 28th has come and gone. Sometimes, I still have trouble understanding that Jacquita passed away a year ago.

So much has changed.

A year ago we were renting an apartment, we were exhausted from our jobs and from the entire situation, and we were scared of the unknown.

We were different people.

A while ago, a good friend of mine and I were having a discussion about her counseling classes. She was learning about trauma victims and different ways they cope or choose to avoid their experiences. She told me that some people will stop breathing or take shallow breaths in order to avoid crying and/or dealing with their trauma. One lady hadn’t taken a deep breathe in 5 years after she experienced trauma. As we were talking about it I realized that I have done this.

Honestly, I don’t mind sharing my story but out of respect for others, I will say that I have experienced trauma and had to shut down my feelings about the things that were happening. At the time, I was able to better handle the situation quickly without processing that information. So, I stopped breathing deeply. I continued to breathe this way for years not realizing it until later.

Why is this relevant? Yeah I’m getting to that part…

While technically what we experienced was not a trauma, it was an abnormal life event. Typically, people do not lose their parents in their 20s. When Jackie became ill, I stopped breathing. It was too much to understand too soon.

I couldn’t breathe.

A lot has changed since she passed away. We bought a house, Micah’s dad is getting married in August, our marriage is stronger than ever, and I can breathe. I still miss her and selfishly wish I could share our adventures with her, but I know better.

All I can say is that it gets better. Just remember to breathe.

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