For over six month, I have had a note posted here on the shelf over my computer. The note says, “Give me 20 good reasons”. All this time, I knew what I wanted to write, but I was not sure I would be able to go through the “open heart surgery” of telling you about my loss. I think I was building up the confidence to write about it.
Whenever I asked myself what I was afraid of, I knew I was scared of dragging myself again through old emotions of loss and hopelessness. I had been there twice and the feelings had faded but not disappeared.
This sticky note on my shelf is what made me write the posts about my loss.
A long time ago, I made the courageous decision not to talk about my loss, to let go of the past and only to take the learning from it. So, without talking much about how “smart” I have become as a parent (the hard way), I talked to people about my learning. When I made that decision, I did not want others to feel sorry for me, nor did I want to feel sorry for myself, so I focused on what I have learned from the experiences. You can find many examples of my learning in over 500 posts in this blog.
The major once are:
- Life is short.
- There are no guarantees in life.
- No one ever said life is supposed to be fair.
- We are a lot stronger that we think.
- Grief is debilitating. Grieving people are handicapped. They feel like they are expected to run a marathon with no legs.
- Forgive people for not knowing what to say.
- When trying to deal with death, asking “Why?” will only bring you more suffering.
- “Why me?” is even worse, unless you start believing in a grand plan. If you do believe in a grand plan, the answer to “Why me?” is always that you have been chosen and you have a major role to play in something bigger than yourself.
- Faith in whatever makes sense to you and gives you comfort is the best cure for grief. Any faith will do.
- Unfortunately, we appreciate things more when something threatens to take them away from us. What a waste! Appreciate what you have right now.
- Even when you experience pain, you get no discounts from your kids. They are just kids. When you are in pain, it is no excuse for handing over the captaincy of your family ship to your kids.
- Tell your kids you love them every day, because you do and because regretting you have not said it is the most horrible form of self torture.
- Everything will be OK in the end. If it is not OK, it is not the end.
In the past year, as the number of my parenting workshops increased and I heard myself describing the pain I had gone through in order to learn some important things, I realized that talking about it was helping people more that I had thought. It made me think in an odd way that if there is such a thing as a universe and grand plan and the universe was trying to tell me something, it was that through my pain, I was destined to help others become better parents, even if it meant cutting open my heart and telling my story.
When my son, the one who brought my smile back, started playing guitar, he practiced playing and singing 20 Good Reasons by Thirsty Merc. My kids used to make fun of me when I asked him to sing me “22 Reasons” and it became a family joke.
Every time Tsoof sang this song, I found another reason I would have gone through my baby ordeal again and I tried to send it to my younger self, the Ronit who lived 14 years ago with a troubled mind, trying to find the reasons that would help her survive the pain and fear of another pregnancy.
I am adding a video of Tsoof singing me “20 good reasons”. He only looks big, but at the time of recording this, he was only 13 years old and had only had 2 months of teaching himself how to play the guitar.
He was sent to me to bring back my smile. I hope you will never lose yours.