I have discovered something about myself. It's an incredible strength. I find it is now a natural part of me. It is an ability to deal with trauma. My own, and others. An ability to stay calm, not panic, and take action. When my grandfather was dying in September - I helped the paramedics by providing suction and maintaining the airway. When Anaya was having respiratory arrest - I was giving critical information to the trauma team, suctioning her throat, venting her G tube, helping the nurse find the correct spot to take her blood pressure. I held her head in position so that they could insert the breathing tube down her throat into her lungs. I gave oral summaries to the trauma team, the pediatric ambulance crew and our ICU nurses. I held the flashlight for the paramedic in the plane as we flew through the rain in the night. I did it all again when we arrived at the BC Childrens.
Then I was the one who took the mask off. I maintained her comfort, ordered the morphine and removed all the tubes and wires. Then I gave her every ounce of love and energy that I could. It flowed out of me like a river and supported her soul in it's crossing. It was not a time of grieving it was a time of support. She needed my strength, and I had it. It was inside me. It was a rock in the storm. Unmovable, stable. Yet my hard had not hardened, my soul had not withered. I was not the only one there, yet I was so focused that they seemed to fade from my reality. The love swirled around the room like a rainbow tempest and then she was gone.
The body I held in my arms was not Anaya. It was only the body that she had inhabited. I loved her body too. I kissed her sweet cheeks, her fingers, her toes. I stroked her hair. Then I set her down gently on the bed and left the room and never went back in.
What a precious blessing to have learned this strength in my lifetime. What an incredible gift I can share with others. I noticed I can still do it. I can still manage trauma like a rock in a storm - with a wide open heart and a clear soul.
The day before yesterday I got a message asking for help.
"House Fire, children and husband dead - mother alone and in shock -Fundraising starting to help her."
I began researching and I found newspaper articles with dead links that informed people to head to a non-existant Facebook Page. I immediately took action, connecting with the administrators who had begun assembling a group of support. I started a Facebook Page that would match the media attention, migrated the existing users and started an online FundRazr to make it easier for people accross the country to donate while there was still immediate interest.
I can see it all so clearly in my mind as if I was her. Running down the street towards the flames and smoke screaming for my children. Being held back from throwing myself into the burning wreckage to try to save them. The heat from the blaze is scorching, the air thick with smoke. Struggling to breathe I continue screaming and weeping with terror and grief.
Then the fire is out. The smoke clears. And they are all gone and I am alone, surrounded by people, but completely alone. I have nothing. No clothes, no toothbrush, even my favorite pillow is gone. My partner, my heart, my babies. My babies. Blinking, I feel the world caving in on me and I breathe staggered breaths. My chest aches as though there is a black hole in my heart and it feels like it will kill me.
That is how I imagine it. Deep and traumatic and raw. I can feel it. I know that one of the human body's survival mechanisms is shock. I know that right now she will be in shock. She may be unable to focus, feel anything, or even grieve. The whole world is alien and everything is messed up and confusing. I know that it will be that way for a while.
That is why she needed my help. Why she needs OUR help. We, who are in a state of strength, have the ability to reach out and make a difference in someone's time of need.
I am Camara. I am strong and I can help make a difference in people's lives - with a wide open heart and a soul filled with rainbows. You can make a difference too. Share this link and give this woman a moment of your own strength. If you know someone who needs my help - send them to me. I have the strength.