I always hated the cold, but I was urged
to go play outside with
the other children. I was bundled up with long woolen stockings,
black sateen bloomers over my underwear, galoshes, scarf, gloves
and tam o'shanter. Still, I was miserably cold.
Earache struck unexpectedly. Suddenly it felt like lightning
bolts were shooting down my ear, the stabs of pain piercing
into my head. I was shocked to notice that the other children
kept on with their games of running and snowballing, not
at all aware of my suffering. It was then I knew that trauma
was purely personal. Others could come to comfort or treat
my hurt, but I was the only one who felt the pain.
Years later, driving home alone from the county hospital
in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi in the wee hours of the morning
after Ed's death, I was shocked to see houses dark, people
asleep, unaware of the catastrophe of Ed's passing. I had
to remind myself that it was my personal trauma, mine alone.
And I know that at my own death, the trauma will also be