Why me? Who hasn't asked themselves that question a gazillion times in their life?
Sometimes it's over something seemingly important like, say, spilling coffee on your outfit when late for work or getting a flat tire and being late for an appointment.
Sometimes it's over something truly worthy of asking that question, say, learning your child has a fatal illness. Yeah. Puts it in perspective doesn't it? Today's blog post is inspired by a toddler named Kai. I don't know him or his mama, but we have a few mutual friends. This is his mama's blog Kai's story. Take a moment to read it. Then, re-frame your day and attitude. Perspective is everything, isn't it?
If you've been reading my blog, you know I have good reason to ask "Why me?" Believe me, I have. A lot. That's not what today's post is about. Today's post is something that extended from that experience. Today, it's about how I became a resource for other parents who are now just asking that question to themselves, to God, to the Universe. About how blessed I am to be able to do that. I can only hope it helps someone, somewhere. One of those mutual friends reached out to me this morning, almost apologetically, to ask what she could to do support Kai's mama.
I told her not to be sorry for asking, please, ask away! Thank you for caring so much about Kai and his family and recognizing that they need *something*. Something that they may not even realize they need or be able to articulate. I was so happy to see friends being so pro-active about reaching out to a family at their time of need, struggling with difficult decisions, born entirely out of love.
I am well connected in the local birthing and parenting community. Having taught childbirth and safety classes, attended births as a doula and my career in health care in addition to the community at large knowing I lost a child through my work with Meghan's Hope and the local media's support of it means people come to me when they know someone who has lost a child or who is struggling with a child who has a fatal diagnosis. Still, some people are afraid to ask me. Don't ever be afraid to ask me anything!
I'll admit, it's a double-edged sword in a way. While I am thrilled to be able to lend my experience and insight as a result of my own losses and provide support to others just beginning to walk the road of bereavement, I still ask "Why me?" Please don't mis-understand. It's part of the process.
I want people to see me as a resource. I want to help others because others were there to help me in my time of despair, confusion, anger, depression and grief. I want to pay it forward. Mostly, I just care about mamas, daddies and their precious children. I know how much it hurts. I know what helps and what doesn't. I will do anything I can for anyone struggling around the loss or potential loss of a child. I should be working right now, instead I replied to my friend, I sent Reiki to Kai and his mama and left a note on her blog, I am writing this. It's because it's what I need to do. Nothing else matters right now.
I can't help but wonder, is this part of my 'mission'? When Meg died, I could've withdrawn, buried it right along with her, kept it close and just lived my life. I didn't. I told her story. I still do. Every. Single. Day. I write, I speak, I teach. I reach out to others. Others reach out to me for information and advice. I give it. Freely. Lovingly. I can't imagine doing anything else.
Maybe Meghan helped me in more ways than I could've imagined. For out of my grief and out of her death has bloomed a beautiful flower that has saved countless other lives and hopefully facilitates the difficult road for other parents who are on the journey toward confronting and healing from their own profound losses.
For today, I ask two things. First, say a prayer or hold a positive intention for Kai and his family. They have made a difficult decision born entirely out of love and it's a beautiful thing, as difficult as it is. Families do this every day. Secondly, take a deep breath, tell your kids you love them and give them an extra squeeze and kiss. Give thanks for today and every day you have with them.