Monday, July 2, 2012

Grief Perspective (I am blessed)

OK, so this is roughly the third iteration of this post. I never published it before, because it just never felt right. But after it stewed in its own juices in my brain for a while, I finally hit upon what I truly wanted to say.

I am ridiculously blessed.
When really bad things happen to us, that's often all we can see for a while. Some people never get past it to see anything else. Some people focus on the bad their whole lives, even when the 'bad' isn't that bad at all. But for most of us, we can eventually look past whatever terrible circumstance has befallen us to take a more realistic and wholistic view of our lives.

Over the last six-plus months, I've seen and heard of tragedies that have befallen other people, often much worse than my own. Additionally, I have traveled to rural parts of Africa (through my last job) and seen places where those who have it the best have it FAR worse then I've had or will have. I have no excuse for dwelling on my own misfortunes and crying that 'I have it so bad and everyone else should feel sorry for me.'
Orphaned children in Mozambique, eating
porridge provided by a Community Care Center

So I took a quick look at my life, and decided I'd just count a few of the biggest blessing I have right now.
  • A strong faith in God that helps me and gives me hope of the future, in this life and the next.
  • My loving and extremely supportive family. This includes not only my mom and two sisters, but Aimee's mom, brother, and sister-in-law as well.
  • Regarding Aimee's mom (Donna), she has been a total rock star the past six months. Despite the horrific loss of her daughter just one year after losing her husband, she has been a great resource for me with Rowan, taking her a couple of times a week so I can run errands or go to the gym, and often having her over for a sleepover one night a week so I can have a night off. Sanity - saved.
  • Rowan is another HUGE blessing to me. Not just because she's my precious little Rowie-bear, but because without me having to be present and strong for her, and without the need for me to 'stay on my game' to take care of her, God only knows what sort of epic collapse I might have had. She's also been a source of happiness in some very dark times.
  • My job, and my colleagues past and present. Wow. I have received more support and encouragement from the people I work with and many I've worked with in the past than I can express. I could probably write a whole post just about that. What's more, having a stable job that I love, in this economy, is a HUGE blessing regardless of a person's circumstances.
  • Aimee's planning. After Rowan was born, she had each of us draw up wills, and we got life insurance policies. The policy on her wasn't huge, but it was enough that I didn't have to worry about losing the house when we lost her income.
  • Rowan's preschool. They've taken amazing care of her, and been a HUGE help to me (in several ways) as well.
These are just some of the BIGGEST blessings I have right now. I could go on and on. The point is, if I could block out (or better yet, reverse) this one terrible tragedy, I'd see that my life is great. Which shouldn't be a surprise to me, since that's how I felt about it on December 17.
So, despite my pain, my grief, and my huge sense of loss, things could be SO much worse than they are. I recognize that, and so I also must recognize that I am truly blessed.

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