A lesson on the tragedy and triumph of motherhood.
And how to Lean Into Love
This week I learned that love transcends space and time. I realized that the power of love withstands the tyranny of death. And I absorbed into my DNA the right-in-front-of-me-fact that when everything around you goes dark, it is imperative to lean into love.
My schooling was directly sourced from an expert in love, Dr. Laura Berman. Dr. Laura, who happens to be a researcher, scientist, tv host, Oprah's wing woman, New York Times Best Selling Author, and mother of three boys, allowed me to access her wisdom as she shared a collection of raw experiences.
Dr. Laura, recently penned the book, Quantum Love. From its coveted spot on my nightstand, I can easily reference lessons on how to harness unique energies to create the most powerful experiences in love. Within its pages, she explains that our lives are always in a state of contraction and expansion. When we feel disconnected from our bodies or our loved ones, we have the power to correct that energy. The idea that we have the ability to shift our energy, and in turn change our reality, leaves me gobsmacked. As we navigate dark moments in our lives, we can reposition ourselves to let slivers of light filter through the broken pieces.
“What hurts you, blesses you. Darkness is your candle.”-Rumi
Dr. Laura is living proof that in moments of deep pain it is possible to experience flickers of joy. Her testimony and her years of research were met with a collision of unimaginable darkness that defies this world's natural order of existence. On February 7th, Dr. Laura walked into her sixteen-year-old son's bedroom to have a chat with him and found him lying on the floor aspirating. Despite a valiant effort from medical responders, he remained listless and unresponsive. That moment was the demarcation of a new way of existing. On that heartbreaking day, Dr. Laura began a life that was void of the earthly connection to the child who infused laughter and joy into her life.
Dr. Laura immediately accessed her default mode. By nature, she is a helper, and through her blinding pain, she knew she had to reach out to help others. She understood that her celebrity status could help spare other mothers the pain of losing a child. Within hours, she had shared her story on social media.
"My beautiful boy is gone. 16 years old. Sheltering at home. A drug dealer connected with him on Snapchat and gave him fentanyl-laced Xanax or Percocet (toxicology will tell) and he overdosed in his room. They do this because it hooks people even more and is good for business but It causes overdose and the kids don’t know what they are taking. My heart is completely shattered and I am not sure how to keep breathing. I post this now only so that not one more kid dies. We watched him so closely. Straight A student. Getting ready for college. Experimentation gone bad. He got the drugs delivered to the house. Please watch your kids and WATCH SNAPCHAT especially. That’s how they get them."- Dr, Laura
When I initially reached out to Dr. Laura, I didn't expect the busy mega-star to respond. I projected my insecurities by thinking that she should be in the fetal position, crippled by grief, and would have no interest in a conversation with me--a devout, but unknown superfan. However, her response was swift. Her words aligned with my mission of empowerment. And she cheerfully responded that she was happy to have a conversation with me. At this moment, I knew I was in the presence of a woman who was larger than life.
In the first few moments of our conversation, she radiated warmth and gritty strength. With familiar ease, she turned to a framed picture propped on a bookcase behind her and adjusted it so that I could see her son Sammy's, cheeky grin. Her comforting narrative had a slightly intellectual spin on the topic of grief. She explained that grief is different for everyone, and she is cognizant that for some in her family, her son's picture can be a trigger. So, although the picture comforts her, it may project someone else deep into the bowels of grief. Understanding that everyone's responses and triggers are different, is one of the things that drew me to Dr. Laura's perspective.
WITHOUT DARKNESS THERE IS NO LIGHT
-Dr. Laura Berman
"The journey of grief is not linear" she explained. "Emotions bubble to the surface at different points of a day and can be overwhelming." Dr. Laura emphasized that bottling up emotions leads to illness, so they must be felt and released. Moving your body through the emotions helps to release them in a healthy way.
Dr. Laura walks the walk and practices what she preaches. I witnessed this first hand as I interviewed her. It is also evident when scrolling through her social media. She boldly shares her painful journey on all social media outlets in hopes to create change. With a regular cadence, she presses record on her phone, allows us intimate access into her journey through grief, then presses Post. She moves her body through the pain, sharing her tears, and communing with her support system. The power of her love for Sammy's lives on and transcends boundaries in this amazingly strong mother.