Grounds for Sculpture

Grounds for Sculpture

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Soft Is the New Strong 2

I have healed many things in my life throughout my life that I can look back on and garner strength from and say that I am proud of. I can recall the blood and guts commitment. I know how much heart and faith and perseverance was required of me.

I healed my own broken heart many many times.

I healed my broken relationship with my father with the ferocity of a gladiator prior to his transition from this earth 26 years ago.

I healed from a full blown anorexia which was active for 20 years and which I was convinced would companion me for the rest of my days, or as I look back, I see “others were convinced” would companion me for the rest of my days approximately 10 years ago.

I healed my body many times after many surgeries as the result of being thrown by an SUV while riding my bicycle.

I healed my searching and seeking heart after years of silence and having my only desire be to penetrate it after having lived in the illusion that this would make me whole.

There are probably many more things I have healed. But for the sake of time, I want to share what I haven’t healed.

I never healed something that resided inside of me in the form of trauma.

My other experiences resided in my heart, with the exception of the surgeries, but similarly, I had feelings about the experience of the surgeries and could heal the experience I was having through that language with myself. With the anorexia, I knew that anytime I was shutting down, which was truly torturous for me, I needed to find my way back to myself in order to get back on track and be healthy. Recently, I was told the most “splendid” and unexpected words by a holistic practitioner I sought help from: She said, “Your body is indicating that your nutrition is excellent and you do not need any nutritional supplements. Healing.


13 ½ years ago, my most beloved person in the world experienced a severe trauma in the form of a brain aneurism. My maternal grandmother. We had just been together for several days for the Jewish holidays and on the night she went home her accident occurred. Without recounting every detail here, because it is far too disturbing, when I met her at the hospital the next morning, her entire head was stapled together and she was between worlds. Hours earlier we had been speaking very intimately about things I will never forget but in this moment, she could not see me.

I was sent to collect all of the “important documents and jewels” from her home and bring them to my mother. In so doing, what I saw took at least 6 months to remove from my mind’s eye. It was a daily experience both visually and at times visiting me through my other senses, every 10 to 30 minutes.

My grandmother died within 24 hours.

My grandmother died of a brain aneurism.

Head injury.

Some 30 years early, I had a terrible bicycle accident. My mother was on her 2nd honeymoon in Italy and I ended up in the hospital unconscious for several days. I hit the concrete HEAD FIRST and I had to have my entire mouth stitched back together. My top lip and to be stitched back together and the insides of both of my cheeks , which had been split apart, had to be stitched back together as well. I had a severe concussion.

Head injury.

The person who never left my side was my grandmother. She and I had must have had a sacred covenant. She was at the hospital around the clock. I would wake up for moments at time and she was there. Right there. Always exactly where I could see her even though I only woke up for a few minutes. Right there.
After my grandmother passed, I did not see my family again. That grief lived inside of me like a wildfire. I had to search for ways to tame it and heal it.

Then there were the surgeries.

My life became smaller. I felt much like my grandmother. Healing takes the time it takes.
The cervical spinal surgery was the hardest. It brought up some fear. Some trauma. It still does. That area. They went through the front. And well, I always seem to protect the back. I protect it because there was trauma there.

Then there was an accident. And it was terrifying. It involved my car. It involved a train. There were only 45 seconds between when I got out of my car and the train destroyed my car.

I was in trauma.

I had not felt trauma like this since witnessing what I saw of my grandmother’s accident. How does one get accustomed to such sights?

It took time. It took time for me to heal this.

About a month ago, a friend of mine lost her husband to glioblastoma 4. I felt a torrent of pain. And just 3 nights later as I was going to sleep, one of my dearest and most beloved friends was in a car accident and almost died. She was hurt. She is okay. But they kept saying it was a miracle she was alive.

Suddenly, two years later after the train accident,

I was in trauma again.

I have allowed every torrent come and they have come like tornadoes. The body holds and remembers so much pain.

I feel so sad for that little 6 year old girl who crashed so hard into the concrete. And lay unconscious and bleeding in the street. Whose mother was away and whose sister was so frightened when the nurses told her what she looked like when she came to the hospital to visit and then ran home crying and afraid to put her eyes on her young sister.

I feel sad for the woman who lost her beloved grandmother and had to bear the heartbreak of witnessing the most unbearable sights that have ever entered her field knowing that those things happened to the person she loved most in the world. And then played the images over and over in her eyes until god finally let them burn through.

I feel grateful for the woman who survived the trainwreck and sad that she had to see it, hear it, and that it happened at all. Sad that it causes her to grip inside her body and inside her heart.

Someone told me to just let go and that this happened 2 years ago. But you can’t talk your way out of trauma. It has to work its way out of you. You have to keep at it all of the time by being loving and compassionate. By being soft AND by being vigilant. Vigilant in the sense of staying awake and giving space to ALL that arises AS it arises. Otherwise, you are simply traumatized.

I am not an anxious person. I know that I can rise above this. I find that as I forge forward, it comes from the softest parts of myself. And I am really okay with that.

I know I am TRULY lacking in support. Maybe that is a remnant of the family loss that still needs some healing and some love to be tended to. And that’s not so bad. My heart is full of love and fully capable of offering love.

I’m going to continue making offerings. Believe in my own healing. Continue to support others. And trust that even though trauma can take on a life of it’s own, and may not be healed yet, I know that I am on my way.

Maybe the last accident, which shook me to my very core, came to remind me that my grandmother’s accident, though it looked so traumatic and shook me in ways I had never experienced until that moment, was just there to shake me. To shake me and remind me that at the very core of my heart, my grandmother is there all of the time, that she is at peace, and is telling me that both of our heads were NEVER meant to be the focus. That we can heal the head injury. That our hearts are MIGHTIER than ever. That our hearts are one.

Our hearts are mightier than ever.
Our hearts are one.


Jill Bacharach