Grief overtook me on the street, suddenly after calm and pleasant lunch in company, bringing an inner systemic organ trembling and unfocused sorrow, arising from seemingly nowhere from no obvious immediate provocation. A little PTS.

I wasn’t sure I could make it home.

During my family crisis, watching a beloved family member struggle with a very aggressive blood cancer, I remained calm and was a source of strength to those around me. But once the immediate crisis past, an overwhelming physical fatigue made the small efforts that comprise a life —walking across a room, putting stuff away, washing up, climbing stairs– all but impossible.

It wasn’t until later, when I returned from California to my own home in New York that I realized that the physical exhaustion arose from extreme emotional strain.

Realizing this was helpful, and reminded me to attend to my own sorrow so that I could participate in life again and continue to be helpful.