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Unexpected Tears: The Echoes of Grief and Resilience

Updated: Feb 15

In the vast sea of TikTok content, it's rare to come across a video that stops you in your tracks, not because of its humor or creativity but because it mirrors a profound, personal experience that sends a ripple through your emotions. That's exactly what happened to me recently.

While scrolling, I stumbled upon a video featuring a three-year-old girl who , in an act of incredible awareness and bravery, dialed 911 to save her mother. The audio shared in the video captured the young girl explaining to the dispatcher that her mother was unresponsive, a moment that showcased her awareness and the lessons of preparedness imparted by her mother.

This video, however, did more than showcase a child's heroism; it unearthed memories of my own experience in September 2020 when my mother and I found my father unresponsive. I remember dialing 911 in a state of sheer panic, trying desperately to maintain a semblance of calm. The innocence and confusion in the little girl's voice echoed the fear and desperation I felt that day, knowing all too well the uncertainty of whether my father would pull through.

The sudden surge of emotions surprised me, leaving me in tears at the breakfast table. My husband, puzzled by my abrupt emotional outpouring, wondered if there was more behind it, perhaps even jokingly suggesting pregnancy. But the truth was, the pain stemmed from a much deeper place—a place of unresolved grief, a reminder of the last time I heard a 911 call, which coincidentally was the last time I saw my father alive.

Grief is an unpredictable force. It comes in waves, sometimes manageable, sometimes overwhelming like a tsunami, instantly turning an ordinary day on its head. I've learned from these experiences the importance of not resisting these waves of emotion. Trying to dodge the pain only gives it more power, allowing it to catch you off guard when you least expect it.

Three years on from that life-altering day, I've adopted a new approach to dealing with grief. I allow myself to fully experience these unexpected moments of sorrow, to sit with my feelings without judgment, and then gently guide myself back to the present, to the small joys that life offers. This deliberate practice of acknowledging and moving through grief, rather than allowing it to consume me, has been my path to resilience.

Grief, with its unpredictable ebb and flow, reminds us of our vulnerability, our humanity, and, ultimately, our strength. Embracing the full spectrum of our emotions, even when they catch us off guard, allows us to move forward, one step at a time, with a heart that's open to the full experience of life, with all its shadows and its light.

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