Today’s prompt is meant to highlight the differences in ourselves before the loss and after it, and who we are becoming. I’ve said it before, and most bereaved parents will say it…I am different after losing a child. Before Lachlan died, I was able to somehow feel protected from suffering and tragedy. Bad things happened to other people. I could be sympathetic to the suffering of others, but I wasn’t touched by it in the same way that I am now. Their tough stuff remained separate from me. It wasn’t out of coldness or an intentional attitude to protect myself, but there was an innocence or a naivety that didn’t really allow me to feel the suffering of others very well. It was inexperience with how hard life can sometimes be. I was able to be happy and content in my controlled world.
Then Lach died and that innocence died with him. Suffering was real, it was personal, and it was deep. I guess when a heart breaks open, it is given room to grow. Now I am able to be more open-hearted to the misfortune of others. I can more quickly move beyond a sympathetic response to an empathetic one. I want to choose a heart that remains broken if that allows my heart the room to continue to grow. I want to consciously become better at living with hope, mercy, truth, and love…always striving to be a softer, richer, deeper, wiser, and better version of myself.