Quick Note: ”Doc Warren” Corson III is a counselor and the clinical & Executive Director of Community Counseling of Central CT Inc. in Bristol and Pillwillop Therapeutic Farm.
As a shrink I have seen many reactions to certain dates. Some folks find themselves overcome with great joy recounting life changing events while others find themselves feeling as if they have been covered by a great dark shadow, being haunted by a date. At times I have worked with folks who felt very bad but were unsure as to the reason until the date is mentioned, it seems as if subconsciously they knew the date and it cast its shadow on them without revealing why. Depending on your age you can tell people where you were and what was going on when you learned that JFK, RFK were assassinated, when the space shuttle exploded or the towers fell. Some things you just never forget.
I write this after listening to Bette Midler’s “The Rose,” which was my late sister’s favorite song. Today (December 2nd when I received the call that my sister collapsed and was motionless on the floor. I remember my trembling hands as I jumped out of bed and dressed so that I could make the trip to the motel where she had been living since losing her apartment after becoming ill and no longer being able to work. I can still see the paramedics outside apparently telling jokes; how they laughed and gave one another high-fives. I was not even there in their eyes. I recall the momentary feeling of hope when seeing them cavort, feeling they were complimenting one another for a job well done only to feel my world collapse when entering the room and seeing her bed empty, traveling to the bathroom to find her lifeless body face down on the floor.
They lacked the decency to even cover her, or warn us of what we would find. She was just another poor person who died in a “welfare motel.” There was no fanfare, no public outcry about the death of someone who was too young and by definition suffering from nothing life threatening, only debilitating. The problem was lack of proper medical care and an inability to pay for needed treatment… Tragic events can taint us, they can make us bitter by leaving an indelible mark on our souls that we wear like a badge which seemingly allows us to be as negative as we want to be. It can also help redirect our energies to become more than we had been, to make a change or in some cases to BE the change that is so surely needed. While I cannot speak for others, I can tell you that I decided on the latter stance. I wanted to do what I could to help prevent another family from being left feeling adrift after the senseless loss of a loved one.
I also wanted to do what I could to make a real and lasting change in my community and perhaps the world. While I will never be rich, nor will I be famous, I can honestly say that through my work at the not for profit, lives have been changed. Sessions have been provided to people from across this state and several others. Consultations have been conducted with folks from around the world and our model has been adapted to meet the needs of folks in countries that I have never been, nor am I likely to ever be.
Tragedies can be the reason that we feel that all is lost, but having lost all that we thought we had need not be the end of our story but instead it can be the beginning of something powerful. So often we hear of folks ending careers, quitting school, giving in and giving up because of a catastrophe but perhaps maybe, just maybe, those of us that understand the pain are greatly suited to help those who have also suffered a loss?
Who better than the injured or previously injured to think up ways to ) is the anniversary of her death at the age of 35. I recall the day oh so many years ago help others in need? Back in the days when I had the time to sit back and enjoy the love that only nature can provide; I noticed a woodland animal that had obviously lost its mate. I watched it return to the same spot every day, looking lost, looking sad.
I remember the wails it let out, perhaps shouting to heaven to let its love know that it was in hell without them. In time the wails fell silent though it never appeared the same. It always seemed to be searching for something that was never meant to be. So many people spend the rest of their lives filled with grief; tragedy without a purpose only leads to emptiness and pain. Those who can find meaning in their lives and a reason to go on find not only a purpose in life but also a purpose for life. I still recall the pain of it all and the emptiness it left but I also recall the purpose that lead to the meaning which lead to the founding of a new hope.
And with this new hope came change and with the change came a new set of dates and milestones in my mission to help alleviate the pain and sorrow of others. Many of you are faced with a new date of pain. Help is out there. With work and time to heal, this pain may lead you down a path that will enable you to make a difference in the lives of others. Will you be the hope for a better tomorrow for those who will need you? If so, what change will you bring? I would love to know. -Doc Warren
”Doc Warren” Corson III is a counselor and the clinical & executive director of Community Counseling of Central CT Inc. and Pillwillop Therapeutic Farm (www.docwarren.org).