I can’t believe I just wrote those words, but I am forcing myself to take a few minutes to look at some of the positive things I have gotten out of my son’s loss. I have been really, really down in the dumps lately and a lot of that has translated to self-doubt and self-pity, so it’s more a thought exercise to try and cheer myself up than anything else.
I realize that no matter how many positive things I can come up with, none of it justifies his loss. He still died, I will still miss him every day of my life, but I can also acknowledge, even though it’s really hard to do so, that there will ultimately be some positive things I’ve gained from this experience as a whole.
- I know I’m fertile. Beyond that, I know I can comfortably carry a baby to term. I made a happy, healthy, positively adorable child, and I have no reason to believe that I can’t do the same again.
- Along the same vein, I know my body is capable of amazing things! Pregnancy and childbirth are both miraculous (albeit sometimes uncomfortable and/or gross) processes. For some reason, I had always had it in my head that I was going to find out that I was not fertile – then, when I did get pregnant, I constantly worried that I was going to somehow make a ‘bad’ baby. Nope! My body did a great job, and I’m proud of it.
- I have a completely different perspective on body image. It’s not that I was overly vain before (or at all, even), but I did occasionally find myself lured in by that unrealistic body standard, and let myself feel guilty about not being closer to a ‘desirable’ shape. Forget that! Pregnancy left some permanent marks on my body; I will never be quite so firm and supple again, and I am perfectly okay with that. As long as I’m healthy, I am comfortable with the idea of not being classically ‘pretty’. There’s a lot more to life than looks, anyway.
- I have learned a lot about the compassion and love of others, even strangers. I’m sure I’ve gushed time and again about how amazing everyone treated us after Brock’s passing, but it really did so much for my respect for people, and my faith in humanity in general. It also helped me burn a couple of bridges, but they were bridges that weren’t worth keeping. I feel less burdened and more sure of myself, knowing where my real friends are and who I can count on to help me up when I’m down.
- I’ve been reminded of the value of time, and how important it is to make the best of it. I won’t go so far as to say “YOLO”, but… well, you get my drift. Live life to the fullest, hug your loved ones often, realize that it’s all a gift, even if it doesn’t always seem that way.
- I’m going to meet children I never would have met because I lost Brock. Shortly after our loss, I read a sentiment on another blog that really stuck with me. The basic idea is that if you lose a child and then decide to ‘replace’ them (obviously not literally, but if you have another child after your loss), you are giving a child a chance that you would ordinarily never have met. I’m not sure why, but this sentiment has brought me great comfort in the last couple months.
- I am going to love and appreciate my subsequent kids so darn much after all of this.
That’s all I can come up with for now – other tasks call. But you know what? I do feel a lot better. Every cloud has a silver lining.