I’ve struggled to focus on the positives that have/could continue to come out of this tragedy. Through the shock, the sadness, even the anger – it’s hard to allow any room for “gifts in grief.” But if I reflect on these last 3+ months – there are a few things that come to mind as positives that seem to help me a bit when I’m feeling particularly hopeless:
(1) My strengthened faith – I think a lot of times in moments like these, people turn away from their faith. It’s hard to comprehend why a God would allow for something like this to happen. I totally understand those doubts and I’d be lying if I said I never had them. But what has surpassed those doubts is the comfort I have found in my faith and in prayer. I feel more peaceful and calm when I’m at mass or reading a reflection book, listening to Christian music, praying the rosary, or talking to God. I’ve been reinvigorated to better understand my faith and grow in my relationship with God – because I’ve never been more sure that there has to be more to life than all of this. I trust that Rosie is waiting for me in heaven and I need to grow in my faith to get to her. The closer I am to God, the closer I am to my sweet girl. This event has taught me the lack of control we have in life and how I need to relinquish control to God – who will take care of me.
(2) Appreciation of the preciousness of life and the ultimate importance of love. I experienced first-hand just how suddenly and unexpectedly the most treasured things in your life can be taken away from you. How one moment (or one nights sleep in my case) can turn your entire world upside down. I will never take another moment for granted or skip an opportunity to be with my family and to show my love. Nothing else really matters. I’ve also gained a new perspective for true suffering and how important it is to treat all people with compassion because you never know what they may be going through and how a simple act of kindness or even just a smile may help them through a dark and challenging time.
(3) The unknown strength of my marriage. I always knew Charlie was wonderful – I did sign up to spend the rest of my life with him after all, but I never fathomed having to navigate an experience like this together. He has surpassed all of my wildest expectations and continues to show me the depths of his love, even in his own pain. He has not wavered once in his concern for me and has accepted me at my weakest. Going to hell and slowly working our way back together as a team has just validated for me just how incredibly solid our bond is and I could not imagine anyone else by my side. He Is truly incredible and this has opened up my eyes to a whole other layer of him. I wish I never had to see it – but I am so grateful for all that he is.