“I am willing to see this differently.”

This notion was the turning point for me on this journey of grief. It didn’t come easily. Suddenly thrust deep into the turbulent world of pain, from every which way I looked – physical, mental and most definitely emotional, it was so very hard to comprehend what had happened. My brain knew that Penny’s body had died, but the rest of me did not catch on. There was so much confusion in that first year as I would wake in the middle of the night not remembering, but then oh my god, remembering, she was not sound asleep in her crib as she had been for two and a half perfect years. I would lay my head back down on a pillow that then became drenched by the storm in my heart, feel John’s warm arm move over to comfort me, and utter these words “Dear God, I am willing to see this differently.”

I so desperately did not want to live a life of sadness, I did not want to be labeled a “bereaved parent”, I did not want to live out the rest of my days “victimized”. That was not why I was here on earth. With these words, a slow and steady alchemy was taking place – behind the scenes of daily torture, in the silent, quantum web of energy, a magical needle of power was weaving together my broken heart. The thread of course made from the love of our army of support, but most definitely enriched by my willingness, my choice, my trust that there could be a blessing in this tragedy. A most painful blessing like that of a beautiful rose; you hold it up to breathe in the purest scent of Divine, and as you do, you realize you are bleeding from the sharp thorns of its stem.

Life is full of these bittersweet moments, and for me it is trusting that even though I bleed, there are boundless blessings that far outlive even the deepest of scars.