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Only you were there on your worst day

Here's the thing about the very worst day of a person's life.

Here's the absolute truth about the horror that someone endured.

Not one single person out their own circle or beyond...

not one single person was there.

Not one single person felt what they felt, heard what they heard, seen what they saw.

Not one.

Even if they were physically there.

Even if they came after and brought a casserole or helped with the tasks....they weren't really there. They didn't endure it. They didn't feel it. They couldn't crawl inside of it.

They were merely witnesses to the worst day.

They might remember the weather that day or the phone call of the catastrophic news but they weren't inside of that wife's body and mind when a knock at the door said that her husband shot himself and he was dead. They weren't there feeling what it felt like to be floating outside of her body when the police came to the door and handed her his wallet. They didn't pick out his funeral program and they didn't hold her while she wailed and screamed until her voice was gone while she was all alone in the bath, in the basement, in the car. Not one single person can ever understand what it felt like for me to sit at his funeral while I held two children ages 4 and 23 months while they said, "Mama? Why are were here? I want to go home! Please, Mama. Let's just go home."

On the absolute worst day of my life...I was all alone.

And next month will be 8 years since that awful day that my first husband died by suicide and still.... no one that loves me truly understands what that day was now...when the leaves turn crisp on a warm early September day my insides burn with fire and fear. Not grief....trauma that resides deep inside of my being and will forevermore. I wish I could go back to that day and hug that young woman at the door. No one really hugged me that day...not truly. I deserved to be wrapped in the biggest warm hug and told, "This is not your fault. You are loved. This is not your fault. You and the kids will be ok." .....

To this day....there is not one single person who can enter into my memories of that day. Not one single person who can feel what I felt, remember what I remember. Not one single person who endures my nightmares because of that moment in time. Not one person who knows of the "before" and what it was like to protect myself and my babies in the night from someone who never slept because of voices and visions. Not one person who can know what it felt like to be looked at with pity and talked about in my hometown. Not one person who helped me to clean up the mess he left behind. The mess in the home we shared, the mess in the family we made, and the mess inside of me.

Not one person who knows how alone I really was.

Not one person....try as they might...who can say, "I remember. It hurt."

Everyone is an outsider to my tragedy. Everyone.... but me.

I can't write about it descriptively enough to help anyone to be the woman at the door that day. I endure it. I carry the load of it. I carry all the memories of it. Even all of these years later. The load of it is heavy...very heavy. I am one of the strongest women that I know and also one of the most fragile. I am both and that is the truth.

I no longer write about my children's trauma because they are healed and joyful and happy and thriving. They are free from the memory of it all because they were so, so young when it happened. They know it happened but they don't remember. And so....I still write about it. Why, you say? Because sometimes I wonder if I was hit by a bus tomorrow? No one would know the reality of the magnitude of this trauma and that is unfair. It's unfair for a survivor to have to carry it all on their own. They deserve to set it down and let others look at it so they can let some of it out of their bones. One day when my children are fully grown....I want them to know what this tragedy did to me and how it shaped me and how it broke me because children who know their mothers story? Their mothers truth? They are protected in ways you cannot possibly imagine. Because my story is their story.

I write this so that anyone else who might relate can let the tears fall knowing that they aren't alone.

I cannot enter into your worst day.

I cannot make it all better.

I can listen to you tell me all about it and yet....I cannot feel what you felt. I cannot feel what you feel.

I can wrap you in all of my compassion and my love because I too have been there. A different day. A different knock on the door. A different trauma. But...I've been there and I know the pain you carry. I know the way it feels to be an outsider who knows things others don't know about death and horror. I know what it feels like to be utterly abandoned, shoved out of an airplane by someone you trusted. I know what it feels like to have a trauma kill you but are still alive and have to put one foot in front of the other.

I know that you were alone on the worst day of your life...even if you had hands on your shoulders. And I'm simply here to tell you, "I'm so sorry. You didn't deserve it. I'm so sorry. My heart is with your heart. My soul is reaching out to yours with deep compassion." I know what it feels like to have to explain your triggers days, weeks....years later. It's unfair. It's draining. It's isolating. It can be infuriating because as much as you heal and rise above it all....You cannot possibly rise up high enough for the memories to never touch you.

And yet, dear one.

I know you are strong.

I know you are brave.

I know you are LOVED.

Reach are not alone. I can't enter into your worst day and feel it with you but I can wrap you in all of my friendship and love.


Leave me a tip to say 'thank you' for my writing if it helps your heart. God bless you! Your loving support helps me keep my writing and loving ministry 100% online so it is free and accessible to everyone. I've never monetized my blog. It's simply here to help others. Cash app: Nikki Bonkoski If you would like to mail something to me: Donation, card, book, or can email me for my private address. **Donations are not tax deductible. They are a gift and a beautiful one. Thank you!**

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Antonella Totino
Antonella Totino
14 ago 2023

Hi, Nikki

I have been reading your stories for years, it seems. Yes, years. 5 years and 9 months since my husband passed.

I appreciate your writing because it is All TRUTH!

This one? WOW.

You are soo right. Only we were RIGHT there and it has continued to be only us.

My children were with me upon the DIRECT passing of their loving daddy but only I really understood it.


Others came and grieved but were soon back to their own lives.

I understand why you continue to write about your trauma while others heal. I feel the same way.

Your experience far outweighs my experience, tragic nonetheless.

But, your endurance and God given strength has…

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