The Available Light

Discovering the light at the end of the tunnel.

I’ve had a MASSIVE revelation/shift in recent days, of which you’ve seen just a small part. I decided it was time to talk about this, and I hope you’ll indulge as I do it here – in the most supportive environment I know of. I feel great, but as with any large shift, I also feel drained and a little weakened (psychologically) by the effort.

This will require a short flashback to a dark place, but I assure you, there’s a positive light at the end of this tunnel, so I hope you’ll bear with me until the end.

You already know about the accident that claimed the life of my fiancée Raven. What you likely don’t know is the second accident, a year and a half later, that took the life of her younger sister (my adoptive sister) Rain.

I’ll leave out the details, but suffice it to say that it involved her parents in the front of the car, with myself and Rain in the back. I woke up in the car immediately following the accident with Rain almost lying across my lap. I don’t remember a lot of the details of what happened, but I remember giving Rain CPR, desperate to do something. Panic was threatening to overwhelm me. I couldn’t get a response, but I kep trying. It was at that point that the paramedics arrived and were taking her parents out of the car. I remember being protective, almost animalistic in my panic, as if protecting Rain from these strangers. I instinctively knew that if they touched her, I’d never see her again.

Fast forward to the hospital. I had suffered broken ribs, which we believe may have been caused by Rain’s head or shoulder. My left arm and wrist were also damaged, but that was own doing trying to help Rain. Her father had a broken leg, and her mother had a few bruises.

Rain had too many internal injuries, and from what they told me, she was already gone when I tried to help her. There’s another story in there about what I (incorrectly) thought I had done to her, but this is not the time or place for it.

Facing her parents was the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life before or since. I felt responsible somehow, and having to tell them that I failed to save her seemed beyond my ability. In fact, for the first few minutes, I could only repeat, “I tried to save her, I tried…” until I collapsed into despair.

When I finally recovered my composure, I faced her parents. Her dad, a kind but very intimidating (to me) man, stared at me in that stoic way he had, which only made my imagination run wild. No longer able to handle the silent condemnation I knew they must be feeling, I blurted out, “I wish… I wish I had been a paramedic or something. I could have done more…” It was a lame attempt at assuaging my own guilt, and it made me sick to realize the truth of it.

Catherine was weeping and holding my hand, but Douglas… Douglas said something that has burned into my mind and my heart ever since.

“No. I’m glad you’re not a paramedic.” I was shaken out of my grief for a moment by the words. At my confusion he said, “If you had been a paramedic, you’d have known there was nothing you could do, and you’d have given up on her. You never gave up on her, even when the paramedics did come. I could hear you back there. You never gave up on her.” At that point, even his stoicism broke down.

I never forgot those words. They’ve acted as a salve to my guilt, pain and loss. They also acted as a catalyst to my recent revelation.

I didn’t give up on Rain, nor have I given up on Raven after all these years. The thought has never crossed my mind.

More to the point, I’ve never given up on myself either.

No matter how many times I’ve wanted to quit, wanted to join them both in whatever lies beyond… No matter how many times I told myself I was unworthy of their love… No matter how often I despaired that I hadn’t done enough to save Rain, or that I was being punished for some unnamed crime or another…

I never gave up on me.

“It’s a promise to Raven,” I told myself. “I can’t quit because they wouldn’t want that,” I justified.

But the truth is, it was all on me. I didn’t give up on myself because deep down, beneath the guilt, beneath the unworthiness, beneath the pain, there was something worth saving.

I can’t describe the effect that this realization has had on me. It’s taken me almost two days just to write these words – writing being therapy and all that.

I don’t know what this means for the future, but I have to believe that Raven is weeping with joy and Rain is slapping her forehead, “Finally, he’s figured it out!”

Hundreds of interactions with Raven, Rain and others over the years now start to make sense. Seemingly innocent comments are coming together into a cohesive message – a series of hunts the Universe has been trying to deliver, but I was too busy condemning myself to notice.

I did say there was a light at the end of this tunnel, and while the pain of no longer having these two angels as a physical presence in my life will never truly fade, it gets drowned out by the love I have for both of them, and their far more powerful psychological/spiritual presence.

I hope that this story offers some insight to those who read it. I realize that it’s tough to read, but it was tough to live as well.

I’ll leave you with this thought:

“There is an ancient tribal proverb I once heard in India. It says that before we can see properly we must first shed our tears to clear the way.” ― Libba Bray

Thank you for staying with me. As for what happens now, I don’t know, but I’ll find my way with the help of my ever present muses… and the available light.

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