Every morning, as I first start to stir and realize that I am waking up to face the day, I like to lay there and think about the things I am grateful for. I aim to find five things that I can say, “Thank you, Universe, for ____”. Some days it is easy – I slept well and the day before had moments that I can recognize as full of grace. Other days it is hard. I have spent the whole night tossing and turning and thinking about work or how much I miss my boy. Maybe I am caught in a pattern of sadness. But I still lay there and come up with something. Thank you, Universe, for my pillow; for the sun in the sky; for the coffee I am going to have when I go down the stairs. They aren’t life changing things, but I feel this activity helps to start my day on a positive note. And being positive is everything for me.
After Luke passed away it was not easy to be good-spirited. My thoughts were consumed with the missing of my child, and the circumstances around losing Lukester, and my fears about death and where the heck Luke was. I would get up every day and head into work and I would cry hysterically the whole way in. As I pulled into the parking lot, I would gather myself up and do my best to give the children a “happy” Mrs. Inwood to learn from. I faked it. But as the old expression “Fake it till you make it” implies, the act of trying to be happy actually leads to being a little more happy. And if you do this enough days in a row, suddenly you find yourself on the other side of a bad patch.
Now, my husband likes to teasingly tell me that no one is born as positive as I “pretend” to be and that I have somehow brainwashed myself into this state. lol. And as much as I actually believe I was born wearing rose-colored glasses, 🙂 he’s not wrong. I choose. Every day. And so do you. How are your spirits today? Because every feeling, every interaction, every reaction is a choice. And I choose to move forward, to see the good in every single person, to be the best darn cheerleader you ever did meet.
It’s important to recognize this control and this choice to be positive after the death of a child. It is so easy to curl up in a corner and feel sorry for yourself. AND YOU’RE ALLOWED, gosh darn it! What has happened is horrible, no denying it. But it is exhausting to spend day after day after day after day in this state. It can actually be a bit of a relief when you realize you can choose to try and change your mindset and move out of the funk.
My husband really struggled after Luke died. He is an analytical person by nature and couldn’t stop thinking about the causes leading up to Luke’s death and how he might have contributed or what he might have done differently to prevent it. He also battles depression and these two factors came together and made him a wreck. He was defeated and didn’t want to go on and nothing I said or did made any difference. Seeing someone you love in such a state of despair and being helpless to change it, is not a place I hope you’ll ever have to be. Thankfully, John worked with his doctor and then with a woman who is a life coach, but she turned out to be a literal life saver for John. I thank the Universe every day for Karen Myers. She taught John that every time he started to have sad thoughts he could hit the “delete” button in his brain and get rid of them. Driving to work and you want to rehash the accident scene and the bend of the metal frame of the Altima? The burn marks up the tree? Just hit Delete. It worked wonders for JB and it is still his best strategy if he finds himself going down the rabbit hole of “what if”. So I tease him back now because to me, his delete button is just a form of brainwashing. The important thing is, it works.
So here’s what I need you to know: If today is your Day One or your Day One Hundred and One after the loss of your child, the truth of it is every single day is hard. And you can choose to be in that. And that is okay. You have to go through this grief the way you feel you need to. But you also need to know that you can choose to lift your head up and see the sun and the lightness of a good day. You can choose that. One day at a time, one day just a bit more positive than the next… that’s how we get through till we see them again. Xxx