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She Isn’t Me


“When you carry a life and it’s there and then gone, a part of your soul dies. Forever.”

Casey Wiegand


I mentioned in a old post how, when our second son died, we were given the option to take his body home with us for burial in our backyard. We were given that option, and so…we did.

Seven months later, early in the morning, I stared down at the grave we’d created. It was quiet, completely still outside, the world’s silence tempting my mind into distraction. And so it was that a memory from the past burrowed its way into my head, a memory pulling me back to college.

I was a psychology major and ended my college career with an internship in social work, mostly working with children, but with some adults, here and there, as well. One day, my mentor called me into her office and asked if I wanted to sit in on a counseling session she was about to conduct with a successful business woman who had been sexually abused as a child.

“She has a habit of ‘leaving’ her body,” my mentor explained. “That’s become her main way of coping with the details of her story. It’s easier for her to leave and narrate the events of her childhood like an observer up on the wall, than to stay in her body and be the victim that she actually was.”

My mentor was right on. Listening quietly from one of the corners of the darkened room where this woman’s counseling session was held, I can remember being thankful that I wasn’t her.

“It’s like the real me is floating up on the ceiling, looking down on someone who claims to be me, but she isn’t me. She can’t be me! Because…I’m not inside of her. I don’t even recognize who she is.”

It was eerie, at the time, coming to terms with what the human mind could do when it wanted to escape. I hadn’t had an easy childhood either, but at least up to that point in my life, I hadn’t felt the need to remove myself from my body in order to survive the reality of what had been.

But on that morning, seven months after the death of my child, looking out at his grave…suddenly, I heard a “thud.” It was from a gardener working next door. And it was also the same resounding sound that I’d heard in my own backyard when the heavy dirt had hit my son’s casket.

My brain let out a scream, I needed to know–Who were those people?

The people who had dug the hole in our backyard. The people who had tucked my son in, beneath his baby blanket….who closed the lid of his casket…who lowered him down into the earth…who covered him up with dirt.

Who were those people? And how could they have done such a thing?

…because, it’s like the real me was floating up in the sky, looking down at someone who claimed to be me, but she wasn’t me. She couldn’t have been me! I wasn’t inside of her. And if I met her today…


…I wouldn’t even recognize who she is.




Thank you for your “shares” and your “likes.” They keep me writing…♥

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Just living is not must have sunshine, freedom, and a little flower. ~Hans Christian Andersen

I am a mother, a blogger and the author of the memoir Pitter-Pat: A Mother's Journey from Loss to New Life. I am currently in training to be a life coach through Martha Beck's Wayfinder Life Coach Training Program. I write about grief, love, and the beauty of new beginnings. My other interests are meditating, walking outside and doing pretty much anything that brings me closer to nature.


  1. Bev Donner
    April 21, 2018

    Special yet very painful

    • awakeningwildflower
      April 21, 2018

      True. Special, and painful. Thanks for your comment…

  2. April 21, 2018

    I have no adequate words.

    • awakeningwildflower
      April 21, 2018

      Those words were, actually, quite adequate. Thanks, Robert.

      • April 21, 2018

        Nice of you to say. I’d like to call again.

    • awakeningwildflower
      April 22, 2018

      It’s actually quite powerful to see how far I’ve come in my healing…there is hope after disaster. xoxo…

  3. April 23, 2018

    This was utterly beautiful, and beautifully written. I think that words are too primitive to explain how much I got from this but I appreciate your vulnerability and willingness to share this from a sacred place inside of you. At this place in my own personal journey and evolution, I received a lot from this. Thank you for posting.

    • awakeningwildflower
      April 23, 2018

      Thank you so much. I’ve had some time to process what happened to me over the past few years, so I was able to post this from a genuine place of healing, and I am SO grateful that, in some way, it touched you, hopefully, helping you on your own journey. Love that you took the time to comment…thank you!

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