Yesterday morning got off on the wrong foot; everything seemed to be off. I have become a big believer in positivity and the idea that our feelings or mood will attract more of the same into our lives. With that in mind, I began trying to change my outlook on the day.
One of my friends recently lost her grandfather and asked me if I could photograph his Celebration of Life. The first reaction in my heart was: ‘Absolutely! Anything I can do to help!’ – But since losing Zachary, I have had a much more complicated response to funerals and death. I began to worry that photographing the memorial may be too emotional as already I was crying for my friend’s loss and lamenting how short life is (even when it stretches 70 years and beyond).
I nervously shared these feelings with my friend and was expecting her to be disappointed with me for not helping her – but that is not what happened! She showed me so much grace and understood that everything I have been through with losing my son has made my experience of funerals and death very different.
To say I was blown away by her understanding is an understatement. I was so thankful that she ‘gets me.’
This got me thinking: I know that losing a child is such a unique experience and that many people will not understand or be able to say the right words to comfort us who share this journey – but there will always be a few who do appreciate what we have been through and do have the right words to say at the perfect time.
It is easy to complain about all the insensitive or inconsiderate people in our lives and the hurtful things they have said or their careless behaviour towards our situation – but it is much better to focus on those who love us and support us, encourage and extend us grace as we march along on our individual journey of loss.
So despite the rough start to the day, I focused on turning it around. I focused on the good and consciously chose to put my attention on all the amazing people in my life. I chose to be abundantly thankful. It felt good. Very good.
Thank you to my family and my friends and everyone who I have met along the way who have spoken goodness into my life, who have championed hope, faith and love to me on my darkest of days. Thank you to those who have let me soak their shoulders in tears and not been afraid to talk out the hard questions of life with me. Thank you to my husband for sticking by me on this rocky road we have traveled. And as always, I want to thank my beautiful son Zachary for coming into my life and teaching me the meaning of it all.
Thank you for reading. Love & best wishes to you all!