Recently, I started dating. This major event in my life has brought up questions about my mother and father. What would they think of this man? Would my father be protective? Would my mother tell me stories of her dating experience?

All of these questions bring pain and despair.  I am encompassed by the reality that they are gone.  When I feel this way, I bring out pictures and videos.  I sit watching and listening, trying to make them as real as possible.

But what happens when you dig too deep?  When you try too hard to make them real again?  Reliving their death has become second nature to me.  Telling people that I have lost both of my parents is like telling people how I take my coffee.  I have desensitized myself to it.  Until the unexpected happened.

As I prepared for my first date in awhile, I was searching the internet for information about my parents to help me feel close to them in this sensitive time. While searching, I found a National Geographic Special, “Air Crash Investigation.” For the past 22 years, I have believed that my father died in a plane crash that was caused by mechanical failure.  I found out from this special that it was actually pilot error.

It was like being hit in the stomach with a bat.  I was stupefied. I immediately started having feelings of anger and resentment.  Those pilots killed my father!

It took me two days to be able to start letting go.  I have spent the last 22 years believing something and the change was more than I could take, and all of this started because I went on a date.

I am flooded with opposing feelings about becoming close to this new man in my life.  My mind is screaming at me to run away.  It wants to keep protecting my heart from ever feeling that despair and loss again.  However, my heart longs to feel that deep love and connection with someone.  To be intertwined physically, mentally, spiritually with someone means becoming vulnerable to loss.  I am slowly taking steps toward opening up my heart again and training my mind to contemplate the possibility of success.

Feeling such deep loss and pain over the death of my mother and father just validates how deeply I loved them.  I would not want to feel anything less because it would diminish the value they had in my life while they were living.  As I open my heart to love again, I realize just how valuable the pain of loss is.  I am able to love deeply and fully if I can focus on the reward of such deep connection.  My grief makes me the compassionate, loving, empathetic person I am, and no one can or should take that away from me.

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Lisa Peacock

Lisa Peacock is the founder of The Peacock Foundation, a life-altering, non-profit organization dedicated to helping grieving and suffering children. Peacock faced hardships at an early age, including the deaths of both parents. In 1987, at age 9, Lisa suffered the loss of her father in a plane crash. Then at 19, her mother died in a car accident. She dealt with depression, anxiety, guilt, and anger. While coping with her situation, she felt a calling to help others who were suffering from traumas. In 2002, The Peacock Foundation was founded. The foundation quickly began programs at South Park in South Central Los Angeles. There we were able to breathe hope in the lives of young children coping with gang violence, sub-level education, a lack of parental involvement, depression, fear, and more. Subsequently, the Foundation began programs all over LA County. The programs are always focused on youth that are coping with traumatic situations that inhibit their development and security. The Peacock Foundation strives to provide the best support care to youth who would otherwise not receive the services we offer. Trauma care for everyone should be a given not a goal. Lisa appeared on the radio show “Healing the Grieving Heart” discussing “Finding Meaning After the Loss of Both Parents.” To hear LIsa being interviewed on this show by Dr. Gloria & Dr. Heidi Horsley, go to the following link:

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