I consider myself a fortunate person with a blessed life.
But I have been both the giver and receiver of lemons.
And I guess losing our daughter was a lemon. I think we can all agree on that.
But no matter what happens to me in my life, no matter what experiences I am thrown into, I have the opportunity to ask myself these questions;
Will this experience harden me, or soften me?
Will I let this experience close me down or open me up?
Will this experience turn me into a rock, or crack me open?
Will this experience shrink me, or will it grow me?
I don’t have control over the cards I am dealt, or have been dealt, or will be dealt. But I can choose what I do with it. It’s cliche, but there is so much truth in that.
This doesn’t mean that there isn’t sadness. There is so much sadness. Sometimes I feel like that’s all there is. Everything overflows with it.
But you see, I believe that you can go through the most awful things, and you don’t have to think it’s great or even say it’s great (Read Why I’m not a positive person), but we do have the option to allow the experience to expand us. And that’s what I always look towards and move towards. A more expansive life and a more expansive way of being. And I’m lucky because I find that in my life, I’m prescribed just the right experiences for me that can create that kind of growth – if I let it. We all are.
Going through the loss of my daughter has softened me. Because I chose to let it do that. I feel blessed with the opportunity to know the delicacy and vibrancy of life and what it is to be alive, and what it is to not be. I was able to see life and death so closely, so intimately, in a way that I had never known before. As a spiritual seeker, this was very important to me. Experiencing the preciousness of life, and the sacredness of death has softened me. It makes me wake up each morning with a sense of reverence.
Going through the loss of my daughter has opened me up. It gave me the opportunity to be vulnerability and share that vulnerability with you. And in that sharing, I met a community of STRONG women who walk the same path as I and have shown me that strength and vulnerability are intertwined. And I have met a community of LOVING humans who have not walked this same path, but who hold me and carry me as I walk mine. This experience has shown me what it is to be honest, and to share the shadowy parts of my life that are no less beautiful, no less holy, than the lightness. It has allowed me to give a voice to the silent parts of me.
Going through the loss of my daughter has cracked me open. I’m no longer so rigid in my own ways and ideas. I stopped planning. I stopped expecting. And I’m so free now.
Going through the loss of my daughter has grown me. I never knew what to say in difficult situations, but now I do. I never knew loss and life after loss, but now I do. I never knew what it was to be a mother, but now I do.
Life is a gift.
I heard it before,
but now I know it.