“How did an unwanted circumstance in your life change you for the better in the long run?”
This past Monday, August 10th marked 5 years since my son Ezekiel was born & passed away. Definitely THE unwanted circumstance of my life. As I spent some time reflecting on these last 5 years, I acknowledge that I was affected in ways I don’t really like… mostly getting out of shape from turning to junk food for coping… which I guess isn’t that terrible of coping mechanism amongst the variety out there! But I’ve also changed for the better in ways I never would have without that terrible life experience.
Husband to Emily. Father to Blakely. Uncharted Trail adventurer.
It's not just the shock & trauma of the initial loss. The domino effect of everything else that's affected is something called "secondary loss"... or what I call "The Ripple Effect". For more on secondary loss, do a quick google search or read this article.
For me, the ripple effect has hit much deeper and lasted much longer than I knew to expect. It's been nearly 3 years since our baby, Ezekiel, died just minutes after he was born, but I'm just now noticing some of the ways I've been effected.
Like most people grieving, when everything was first going down and confusion was my default state of mind, I turned to the external world for coping. Food, music, exercise, hobbies, etc. And they weren't necessarily bad things... in fact, most of them (aside from junk food) could probably be seen as very good and healthy means of coping. I wasn't deep-diving into porn, drugs, alcohol, gambling, video game binges, extramarital affairs, or just completely abandoning my family. And trust me, if you're in the position where you're dabbling in that stuff to cope, I totally get it. It's just not really my flavor of coping, in general. And there's definitely ways to cope that aren't as destructive to yourself or your loved ones long term.