By Debra Reagan —
There came a point in my grief over the death of my son Clint when I became so tired of being tired. I began to search for something that would offer a bit of relief. I purchased a small notebook and began keeping a daily gratitude journal. Every day, I tried to find something to write in my journal.
Most days, at first, I was just grateful that I had made it through another day. As time went on, I began to find small things of which I was truly grateful. I began to see that I had received many blessings. These were blessings that I would happily give back if I could turn back the clock, but they were blessings nonetheless.
It seemed that as my journal grew, so did my strength. I began to look forward to logging my gratitude in my journal. I suppose my focus was changing and my pain over the loss was being replaced with my appreciation of those around me. This felt right for me.
At one point, I expanded my journal by adding a section where I could record events that had brought me brief moments of happiness. I wanted to determine if there was a pattern to these moments. I longed so much to be happy again. My dear Clint wanted everyone to be happy.
It has been awhile since I began my journal and I continue to take one day at a time as I search to find what is right for me. I accept that my new normal will always have a level of the pain because of our great loss; I want to find ways to carry this loss. I want Clint’s life to also have a legacy of love, joy and happiness. The tears still come, but sometimes now smiles come too. Those smiles represent the love and precious memories.
My husband once asked me if I would do it all again. I knew what he meant. He was asking me if I would marry him again and have our two beautiful sons if I knew this would be the outcome. In the depth of the pain, I must admit I paused and wondered what person would ever choose to go through this anguish? But then the answer came: If avoiding the pain meant avoiding the love, then I would choose the love with all the strings attached. I am grateful for this love.
I am grateful for the past and the time we shared as a family. I am grateful for many things in the present:? my family and friends, the special connection I still have with Clint. I am grateful for my faith and the future, because I believe I will see Clint again.
Reach Debra Reagan through her website, www.clint-reagan.memory-of.comTags: grief, hope