They come.    They go.   Trigger Moments ambush without consent.

Trigger Moments bring us back to a time and place with a loved one who has died or who is dying; who has dementia and whose mind is dying; who is missing and not yet found; a much-loved canine/feline friend who has died or for whom we have made the difficult decision for a veterinarian-assisted death.

Trigger Moments enter conversations and thoughts in other ways: catalyst for recovering addicts/alcoholics to slip; PTSD flashbacks;  COVID19 when thoughts of “what was, is no longer” surround and affect on all levels: body, mind and spirit. 

Trigger Moments can be sweet.  Trigger Moments can cause deep pain. Trigger Moments can intensify the desire to have “just one more” conversation; one more laugh; one more time to travel; one more opportunity to be together in holy silence in the Studio, creating; one more embrace; just one more “we” moment. 

When those Trigger Moments show up, when the tears flow and we are helpless to stop them, it is natural to want to “get over it.” 
I know that I do. 

Instead, I let the tears flow; do some gentle, deep breathing;
and acknowledge that the tears and sadness are part of the grief experience and I am not “losing it”.

Trigger Moments. 
In those moments, I know I need to care for my husband’s wife … me. 

And I do – finding comfort in sitting on our deck beside the chair my husband used; sipping cold lemonade, enjoying the peace, quiet and beauty of our back yard; feeling his presence in a gentle way;  and knowing that eventually, the Trigger Moment which left me reeling with the pain of loss, will pass.

I know that Trigger Moments are a natural part of healing from loss.  I don’t like them.  I know that there will be other Trigger Moments.

All I can do when they come is … let the tears flow and deep breathing happen … remember that such moments are part of the grief experience … recognize and accept the reality that in time, healing will come … take comfort in the words of the prophet Isaiah “joy shall come, even in the wilderness”.

Grief is part of life.  Trigger Moments come.  Trigger Moments go.  May they not be resented.  May they not be despised.  May they be welcomed as part of the grieving process – as part of the healing process – as part of the circle of life.



Photo and Text © June Maffin


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