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In Our Darkest Times, We Never Know What Will Save Us

I always thought that if I worked hard enough and had a solid plan in life, everything would work out. Life was something to be managed and arranged. I believe that if I wanted something badly enough, I could make it happen.

Life didn’t work out that way.

I couldn’t save my fiancé and my daughter.

I couldn’t manage life or plan enough or work hard enough to prevent their deaths.

Life didn’t go as planned.

And I sure as hell couldn’t manage the grief.

Life happened and grief took over.

Nothing has ever made me feel so out of control and lost as grief. I couldn’t save them and I wasn’t sure I wanted to save myself.

I did all the traditional things to deal with the pain, the loss, the desolating grief – counseling, reading books on grief, burying myself in work, writing.

I believe those things helped. But they weren’t what saved me.

Harry Potter saved me.

It’s almost embarrassing to admit, especially as a counselor who does believe in the value of grief counseling.

It is, however, the truth.

Whenever I wanted to give up, to give in to the horrible longing to be with my family, I would escape into the world of Harry Potter.

In that world, I could breathe. In that world, even if only for brief moments, I could forget the pain.

When I thought about joining my family, I could take that pain and lose myself in Harry Potter.

I read those books and watched those movies countless times in the early years of grief. I lost myself over and over again. They were my lifeline.

Until, slowly, I started to find myself again.

In the stories, the characters, that mythical world where love and devotion lived beyond death, I found my belief in the beauty of living again.

In the most unlikely of places. In a place no book or counselor or logical thought would have ever suggested.

Life rarely goes as planned. Yet I still believe in the beauty of it, even in the darkest of times.

Harry Potter taught me that.

We never know what will save us.

 

*Previously published on Still Standing Mag.

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