Of late, I have been reflecting on this past year and how much my life has changed. Of all the questions I have been asked over this past year, the one that stands out the most and to me is the most important, was posed to me by my aunt. She asked me, 'how do you remain so positive and in such a good place after such a loss.' Some of you may remember reading about it over the summer.
I too am amazed that I am not a complete basket case and wreck, even immediately following the loss of Gabriella. If you were to be told as you entered adulthood that you were going to face a loss, like losing a child, I would bet your response would be one of terror and your expectations of yourself and your reactions would be to a lower standard than that of how you would actually function. For me, I know I would have told you that they would be peeling me off the floor if I lost a child. And on the contrary, I walked, and I walked proudly to have even been her mother, even if for just that short time. Now, being in the position I am in, I have come to know many bereaved parents. We all have a different story and we all have walk our paths at different paces. But, one thing that remains the same is the strength we never knew we have and never even asked for. We became survivors.
I know for myself, a lot of that strength was built up, years in the making. I didn't even know I was preparing. I am truly blessed to have had the experiences I had prior to losing my baby. They have made all the difference for me. They prepared me for the greatest challenge I have faced so far in this life. And while some may find it odd, I am at peace. I am finally believing and feeling all those words and sentiments, I thought and spoke of a year ago. A year ago, I knew things would be okay, but, I didn't know how. A year ago, I feel grateful to have had her at all. A year ago, I didn't challenge my maker. Today, I whole heartily know, I am okay, I am totally and completely grateful and today, I love my maker even more than have. My life has more of a purpose today than it ever has. My life is more fulfilling and my life is more clear. I am so much happier in my own skin, more confident in myself and more aware of love. All these gifts were bestowed on me by a tragic hand. How blessed am I to be able to see it so clearly? I am ready for the next steps in my life's journey and I am hopeful that my experience will continue to keep my eyes as well as my heart open for the great things to come.