Tuesday, my son choked on a piece of candy. My mom literally saved his life by flawlessly performing the Heimlich Maneuver. It was a technique she’d never even practiced before that moment, the instant when her eldest grandchild needed her to get it right. Naturally, the incident left all parties quite shaken.
As the children filled me in later that night, I could hear the residual fear in their voices. That is the tricky thing about traumatic incidents. Once it’s over, everything seems fine. The risk appears to have passed, suggesting it is okay to just move on. Some would even pause to feel the proper humility, duly grateful for the optimal outcome.
I believe it is not that simple. The fear stays behind, quietly eroding your spirit, leaving you cautious and uncertain. This fear keeps people from living fully.
That evening, I acknowledged that the experience was incredibly scary for everyone involved and also that their Gran was a rock star for helping him through the crisis. After we’d processed the details at length, it was time to explore a way to move forward. I felt unwilling surrender our hard earned family peacefulness to this experience.
I said, “Now, we need to figure what that big exciting experience came in to our lives to teach us. What could we learn from this story about how to deal with other emergencies in the future?”