In the early days I didn’t know how I was ever going to go on.
The plans for my life, our life together were shattered and just like that ::poof:: all those hopes and dreams were lost.
It took lots of soul searching, introspection, honesty, creativity, and vulnerability to come out of the depression and realize that the road didn’t actually end, it was just curving in a different direction.
Sometimes I do still wonder who I would be if she was here.
Especially on the days where I run into old friends at the mall, and they unknowingly ask where my other older daughter is. <<<she’s dead>>>
Those are the moments where I usually reply “Oh I only have this one (our rainbow).” and then pause and ask myself “If only”.
Would life be better, or worse. Would I be a different kind of mom or live a different kind of life. Would we live in this house? Have this dog? Would I have a different job? Or car? Would I be happier? As grateful? As anxious?
Fortunately these days the internal questions land a lot softer. With the passage of time, and designated space made for healing I’ve come to the conclusion that the loss of our Bella has enriched my life and I’m better because of it.
But, If you’re still in that raw, open, and super vulnerable place of depression and sadness I want to offer up my biggest virtual hug and encourage you to keep taking steps around that bend to rediscover who you are after your loss(es).
Because at the end of the day, joy is a choice, and it’s up to you to find it.
One of the best ways I’ve found to rediscover my happiness is through both photography and the writing process. Using my imagination and creativity and introspection as a tool for healing.
Today I’d like you to grab a pen and paper. Set a timer for 10 minutes, and pick from one of the 35 prompts below. Pick the one that is speaking to you the most right now Write. This process might bring up ’stuff’, but let all the feelings flow. It’s only 10 minutes. Be honest. Be raw. Be real. Be you. You might even surprise yourself with the answers.
1) What brings you the most joy in life?
2) What is something that really bugs you?
3) What is something that makes you really angry?
4) What is your favorite time of day?
5) What is your most indispensable possession?
6) What is something you do well?
7) What is something you dislike about yourself?
8) What is the best advice you ever received?
9) Describe the perfect vacation.
10) What do you think about when you can’t fall asleep?
11) What do you think makes a good friend?
12) What do you think makes a happy family?
13) What things do you think are beautiful?
14) What do you think your friends say to each other when you’re not around?
15) What do you like most about yourself?
16) What do you like to do in your free time?
17) What makes your feel safe?
18) What makes you laugh?
19) What would you invent to make life better?
20) What talents do you have?
21) How do you feel on a warm sunny day?
22) How do you feel during a thunderstorm?
23) I wish I could see… because…
24) I wish I never… because…
25) I wish I could go to… because…
26) I wish I could give… because…
27) I wish I could learn… because…
28) When are you happiest?
29) When do you feel proud?
30) What quality do you like best about yourself?
31) What makes your best friend your best friend?
32) What is something you are pessimistic about?
33) What is something you are optimistic about?
34) Describe your favorite room in your home. Why is this your favorite?
35) Describe something that makes you feel peaceful.
It’s my hope that something here might just be the spark that leads you around the corner and back to yourself. To that new version of you. One who can see the light at the end of the tunnel and go after it.
Want to work longer term on finding the way back to yourself? My online class Radiate is now enrolling. 12 weeks of self-discovery and healing through photography, photo editing, and journaling. This course is not exclusive to baby loss moms, but was inspired and written following the loss of our Bella with all moms in mind. Registration is open through Sunday August 10th and Still Standing readers can take $40 off their registration fee using code ‘stillstanding’ at checkout. Details and registration are HERE. Class begins Monday August 11th. I’d be honor to help you on the path back to rediscovering your inner glow. xo.