The Deep Dark Rabbit Hole

I was listening to a podcast tonight.  A friend sent me the link four months ago.  It sort of got lost in my inbox.

It was about a woman who had been through the same sort of tragedy as I.  Her husband died two and a half years ago.

She said some really good stuff.

She talked about the fact that she was a perky, positive, happy person before her husband passed away.  The interviewer asked her if she lost that.  She said, “No.  I have it.  I just continually walk by this deep, dark rabbit hole that I know I can fall into at any given time.  But when I do, I climb to the top and someone grabs my hand and pulls me back out.”  She talked about how before she avoided boredom and sadness and anxiety, that she spent her life running from those things.  And now, she embraces those emotions.  That she now understands that those emotions allow her to live a more full life, to be more understanding and compassionate than she ever thought she could be.  She sort of implied that the harder emotions compliment the happier ones.

She described how her life has taken a disastrous, tragic, beautiful turn.  How contradictory.  Can sadness really bring about beauty, strength and fulfillment?  Isn’t it supposed to break you down?  Isn’t it, by nature, the killer of joy?

If done right, I believe that going through massive loss, heart wrenching grief can give you insights, can help you view life, can help you personally grow in ways that you never  could have before.  In so many ways, like the interviewee, I am unrecognizable to myself.  I am not the same man who lost his wife five years ago.  I feel more deeply, the bad AND the good.  I have more hope for what lies ahead, in this life and the next.  I am less uptight and fearful about the future.

Utter sadness and despair is awful.  It hurts like hell.  It can take you to some very dark places.  And then, after the worst is over, it can turn you into something whole.  Something that is deeper and richer than you could possibly have been without it.

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  1. Would you mind sharing the link to the podcast? I’d really like to listen. If you still have my email address you can send it there unless you don’t mind posting it. Thanks.

  2. I know I’ll never be the same again, but coming up on the 2 yr anniv I’m starting to recognize myself more and more often. 🙂

  3. Sometimes the most beautiful things are broken. A treasured mug, a book that’s been taped together, a favorite pair of jeans with a patch. Their beauty doesn’t live in their wholeness, but in the fact that someone loved it enough to take the time to put it back together, to love it in spite of its cracks, to do the work when it would be easy to discard. And often it becomes more complete, more whole, because now it has more of you in it.

    I loved this post and needed it today. Thanks for the reminder.

    • Danny Tanner

       /  April 18, 2015

      That is a really cool way to look at us broken souls.

  4. Mom

     /  April 15, 2015

    What helpful comments these are. Your comments are helpful to everyone who reads this.

  5. Aunt Susan

     /  April 16, 2015

    as always your mom hits the nail on the head, and do consider sharing the link to the podcast if you would.

  6. it’s true, your mom is right and so are all the comments especially the first and Aunt Susan’s. Can you share the link to the podcast? I like her analogy of the rabbit hole. I just told someone two days ago, that I can kinda feel “real” again. I’m making it my life, or “our” life (kids and I). I see that rabbit hole and sometimes I go there but sometimes I can just look at it. I don’t always get a hand to help me out though… but then I think, oh, I pulled myself out and that’s empowering. When I get all thinkey like, I decide to write but I always check you out to see what his happening in the big city. I can’t for the life of me figure out why, “Miami” but it made for some funny thoughts. Rollling up on the year and half mark. Finishing the Masters! Can I have a job?

  7. I have been through less dramatic circumstances than you, but I can relate to the way a person can be forever altered. My perspective has changed so much.


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