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.
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?”
- 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