Reflecting upon the lessons I have learned during this difficult time of losing a child is quite possibly the most helpful thing I have done along my path of healing.
1. Happiness is a choice: I have never found it challenging to be happy. I like to attribute this to my general positive attitude, surrounding myself with happy/supportive people and not having to endure very many tough trials in my life. Now, some days I have to make a conscious decision to be happy and when I decide not to be only I suffer.
2. Allowing others to serve you can be harder than serving others: By nature I like to do things for other people, but letting my guard down and allowing others to serve me has buoyed my soul, and filled my heart with love for those who have served me.
3. True compassion, kindess and concern does exist in the world: I will never forget the doctors and nurses who cried with me, held my hand and who exhibited a kindness and compassion for mankind I had never before experienced.
4. If I was bitter I would have missed out on all the blessings which have occurred in my life: I had always envisioned bringing home our first born child in a car seat, not in a tiny wooden box resting on my lap. At times it is easy to feel cheated, but this does not erase all the joy we have experienced over the past several months nor all the wonderful people who have showed an increase in love and support for us.
5. The only thing I am in control of is how I react to situations: Thoughtless comments abound, inconsiderate, clueless people exist everywhere and the only thing I can control is how I react to it all. Sometimes I get the feeling people feel uncomfortable because I am not miserable and actually have the audacity to ask me how I can smile.
6. If you allow them, trials can make your marriage stronger: Going through trials can be tough, but experiencing them with a supportive spouse can make all the difference in the world. A steady shoulder to cry on, someone to hold your hand and remind you of all the happy times you have had together.
7. Your faith can see you through: My belief in God and that he has a plan for me has seen me through my darkest hours and has given me hope instead of despair for the future.