Social support is the most powerful protection against becoming overwhelmed by stress and trauma…being truly heard and seen by the people around us, feeling that we are held in someone else’s mind and heart. Bessel Van Der Kolk, M.D., The Body Keeps the Score
I won’t say there haven’t been plenty of moments since December 15 when I’ve felt absolutely overwhelmed, like the simple task of brushing my teeth was too much. Like the pain was saturating so much of my body and soul that there was no space left for joy or freedom. Like the prospect of living into some semblance of a new normal was beyond the realm of possibility.
But I have not been overwhelmed to the point of prolonged paralysis. To the point of losing hope in Christ. To the point of withdrawing from my life.
Here’s what’s truly overwhelming. The constant love and support of family, friends, and people I don’t even know ever since the day of Chandler’s accident. Without reservation or exaggeration, I can say that every text, phone call, Facebook post, prayer, meal, vase of flowers, bottle of kombucha, hug, word of understanding -- every single act that reminds me that I am being “held in someone’s mind and heart” – that is it. That is why I have made it this far and will continue one…day…at…a…time to honor Chandler’s life by living mine the best I can. I am speaking in first person, but you can insert “we” because this has been our family’s experience as well, not just mine.
“Social support.” That’s one way to say who Chandler was for so many who crossed his path. I have had friends of his tell me that Chandler was there for them when no one else would listen. The love that was poured out in his hospital room and at his memorial service were simply a “giving back” of the love that Chandler brought to his corner of this planet.
He started early. Today’s picture is of Chandler in kindergarten receiving a Meadow Park Pride Award.
For being a “kind, caring friend.”