When triggers are pulled.

He said, you ruin everything.

She said, No. Alcohol does.

This conversation happened the night before my father’s funeral.

My brother was holding court on the patio at my parent’s home. He was drinking Irish Whisky in honour of dad, chatting about the past and sharing stories.

My mother was sitting beside him, almost falling asleep in her chair. I suggested it was time she go to bed when my brother told me to stop being so difficult. You ruin everything in this family, he said.

His words came through the fog of grief and Irish Whisky. But they still stung.

And, while his words were said in 1996, they can unexpectedly pop back into my mind when triggered by something in the present.

I know why that moment in time memory came back.

It is March.

On March 17 it will be the anniversary of my brother and his wife’s death in a car accident.

Last night, as I tried to engage C.C. in a conversation about “our relationship” and things we could do to make it better, he jokingly said, “You just ruined my day.”

I laughed and said I wasn’t that powerful and we carried on with our conversation. Okay, maybe not that conversation (what is it that makes men so adverse to talking about ‘relationship’?) 🙂  And yes, that’s a rhetorical question. And yes, I know I was just painting ‘all men’ with the same brush. But seriously? If we don’t talk about the things we can do to create ‘better’ how do we know what the things are that we can do to create ‘better’?

And this post isn’t actually about creating better in my relationship. C.C. thinks it’s perfect. 🙂

This post is about memory’s power to trigger its own threads and leave us having to find our own way back to the present.

Recently I chatted with my eldest daughter about something that is happening to someone in her life that is triggering memories of those dark days when I was lost in a relationship that was killing me.

It’s important to heal trigger points, I told her. But you can’t heal it if you keep your finger on the trigger.

For me, triggers are the gift that remind me to always move into, through and with forgiveness, compassion and gratitude.

Forgiveness, for myself and whomever it is that I hold ‘accountable’ (okay, blame) for the sting or pain or whatever emotion it is that is causing me disquiet today.

Compassion, for myself and others so that I can lovingly disconnect from whatever remnant of the story from the past that I am clinging to that does not serve me today.

Gratitude, for the opportunity to see the connection between the past and this moment right now so that I can lovingly take my finger off the trigger and move back into this moment where I know, I am safe. I am loved. I am deserving of joy. I am human. I am okay.

My brother is gone from this world. The memories I cherish are the one’s that fill my heart with love. I loved him dearly. Always will.


9 thoughts on “When triggers are pulled.

  1. Our memories are, faulty – we remember things as they were but with a slant on how we felt then, how we feel now – not as an objective third party historian or investigative journalist might record them. You write about your brother each you, and sometimes I wonder if your recollections are the same as what you’ve related to me. Not in a major way, but in some ways … and in that, methinks, is part of your struggle – to reconcile ‘what really was’ with what your memory wants it to have been. Maybe I’m playing armchair psychologist without a licence … or holding up a mirror, or neither. Take my comments, or toss them aside …

    Liked by 1 person

    • I don’t have an answer for you Mark. 🙂 It could be any and all of the above. For me, I know that holding my brother’s memory in love, brings me peace and harmony. And those are the memories I cherish. ❤


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