Taking another prompt from the list, I decided to write about the hardest thing I've ever experienced. I would have to say the death of our six-day-old baby girl from forceps injuries causing a brain hemmorhage, was the hardest thing.
It was twenty one years ago this February and I still think about it.
Laura died mysteriously in her sleep one day after bringing her home. We never even knew anything was wrong with her which made it that much more shocking. Even now it's hard to understand why it happened. I've come to think of it like a car accident, unexpected and tragic. At one point, I was consumed with anger but I've had to let it go in order to go on. We have been fortunate to have two healthy boys since then, both good deliveries. I know other parents who have not been so fortunate.
Over the years, I have written countless journal entries, articles and poetry expressing my grief and coming to terms with the loss. I have also befriended other bereaved parents to share our pain and offer comfort.
I've come to the conclusion that you don't go back to normalcy after such an experience. You incorporate the event into your life and try to keep going but it's there with you always like a scar. You're not the same person as before.
I think I'm more cynical and less idealistic than before Laura's death. I know that life's journey is full of struggle but there is so much beauty and goodness, too. The trick is to try and stay positive and be open to that goodness.
I think I have more gratitude for all the good things as I know how easily it can all be taken away. I try to find joy in simple things and I try to show my gratitude and appreciation more than before.
Each day is a gift and could end at any time so it's important to make the best of it and focus on important things like loving ourselves, loving those around us and helping make the world a better place.