Embracing Life after Loss of Loved One

Embracing Life Now After the Loss of My Daughter

There are photos, stories, even those special hand-made Christmas tree ornaments and memories that take me back.  I was 46, and never expected my children to give me two extraordinary lessons – one in grieving and another on living.Embracing Life after Loss of Loved One

Every January, I experience my mind distancing from the now and reflecting on the past.   I am drifting into a memory of those final days.  I notice my son reminisces about childhood memories with his sister.  Our eyes glisten.  Our hearts even smile.

My daughter Jodi was diagnosed with an osteosarcoma shortly after graduating from high school. Suddenly her dream of life at the University of Michigan was gone.  Instead her days were now consumed with intense treatments of chemotherapy and radiation, multiple spinal surgeries, and endless care. Energetically, life then was often more like an ultra-marathon than a sprint.

My Life and My Family’s Life Changed

Ten years ago today, my life changed and so did our family’s.  It happened so quickly, just eighteen months and I lost my daughter.

The First Year

That first year was a blur, I allowed myself to feel the utter sadness.  Each month on the 29th, I cried.  I spent time alone; writing and reading to heal my emptiness and sorrow.  I sought unanswered questions in prayer and meditation.  I became more sensitive and compassionate toward others.   While being more confident in difficult situations and crucial conversations.   I let myself grieve.

As the months (now years) go by I allow Jodi to lead me in my life and our family’s.  I made decisions to rebuild and sell our business.  I chose to start a professional coaching business that integrates my life experience to help others.  My husband changed careers and our son graduated college and is happily pursuing his passion in marketing.

Today, when I go backward in thought to those final days; it’s a chance to fully experience the real and rawness of life – all complete.

Living Today with Loss of a Loved One

So when asked, “How can you really live life today when you are living with loss of a loved one?”
Here’s how:

  • Cherish the happy memories.
  • Realize the gift of the past.
  • Embrace the rawness of life now.

“So many of our dreams seem impossible, and then they seem improbable.  And then when we summon the will, they soon become inevitable”  – Christopher Reeve

 

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16 Comments

  • Julie Miran / January 30, 2015 at 7:21 am

    Some a moving and beautiful tribute to all 4 of you. Your descriptions and images are spot on and I remember so many pieces of the journey with all of us. We are here.

    I thought all day of some of my favorite pieces of her and they all embodied a person who was simply a wise and generous soul. I see that reflection in all of you.

    Love to you all,

    Julie

  • Danielle Hey / January 30, 2015 at 8:20 am

    Such a brave and inspiring post Peg! Thank you for sharing Jodi with us and for reminding us how precious this life really is. Thinking of you…

  • Debbie Connor / January 30, 2015 at 8:42 am

    Peg you are truly an inspiration. I cried and smiled while reading and looking at these wonderful memories. Unless you personally suffer this kind of loss it’s hard to relate. God bless you and your family.

  • Meghann / January 30, 2015 at 9:13 am

    sending you and your husband and son so much love, Peg. Thank you for sharing the beautiful story of angel Jodi, your guiding light and forever ‘soul mate.’ Thank God for her continuous presence and guidance! Keep living courageously and inspiring your clients to do the same- you’re amazing!!!

  • Debi Pulaski / January 30, 2015 at 9:49 am

    Peg, this is so moving – it’s beyond words. It actually put a smile on my face, even though the subject is so very grim. You’re a wonderful person that was put here to help others. Love you!

  • brenda abdilla / January 30, 2015 at 10:19 am

    Peg, your strength and vulnerability move me today. Thank you for sharing. I am truly sorry for the loss of your beautiful, perfect girl and I am so grateful that you and Tom and your son have decided to be in the land of the living. I cannot imagine how hard it is to make the daily decision and you inspire all of us as you do.

  • Jen Lebo / January 30, 2015 at 10:34 am

    Love you so much Peg. So beyond blessed to have known beautiful Jodi and to know you.

  • veronica almond / January 30, 2015 at 10:59 am

    oh my my mommy………..she has such a great face. full of joy and positivity. that has to fill your heart with happiness. it does mine 🙂 God Bless you and your lovely family……….xoxo

  • MaryBeth Yannessa / January 30, 2015 at 1:29 pm

    Hi Peg, As the time rolls around to the 29th, you are always in my thoughts and prayers that the happy memories and Jodi’s spirit shine in whatever you are doing and the sadness does not intrude. Hope that you are doing well and business is fulfilling your life’s work. We are entering another chapter in our life since closing our business. Not what I had expected but I am making the most of it.

    mb

  • Deric Lynch / January 30, 2015 at 8:55 pm

    I am so blessed to have known Jodi. She had an infectious smile and personality. She was always pushing herself to to exceed expectations and wanted to experience life for all it had to offer. I am a better person for having had h er I n my life. Ten years ago we all lost someone so special to so many people. Jodi you will always be in my heart and I miss watching you make everything you touch better.

  • Mary Beth Gordon / January 30, 2015 at 9:36 pm

    Hi Peg,

    This so brings me back to those early days of sharing the love of both of our families, being part of the memories, sharing in your joys and pride in both of your kids. I am blessed to call you friend. God Bless you all. Peace my friend.

  • Nicky / January 31, 2015 at 7:07 am

    Thank you for sharing the wonderful pictures of your beautiful daughter and your story of love, strength and inspiration. We are all so fortunate to have you as a friend, confidante and coach.

  • Joseph Masleh / January 31, 2015 at 8:54 am

    thank you for your wonderful and enlightening page… you as well as I know that upon her arrival in heaven she was greeted by angels , and continues to watch over you and your family… death here on earth is not the end of life , it is the beginning of a new life in heaven with GOD..

  • Eva Grayzel / February 1, 2015 at 12:51 pm

    A testmanet in turning adversity into opportunity.

  • JoAnn / February 2, 2015 at 1:29 pm

    You, Jodi, Tom, Jamie are so my heroes. You each have made all things possible…

  • Christine Walsh / February 3, 2015 at 3:04 pm

    Peg, I have only known you for 8 months, and have been filled with inspiration from your coaching. Reading about your daughter has led me to reflect on the many gifts that God brings to us each and every day through the lives of those we love. These gifts are always there for us when we are open and willing to accept them and use them. Thanks for being such an inspiration and for sharing something so close and personal.

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