I talked about finding positive things in our surroundings to help us shift our focus from dismal to at least minimally better. My first proof of this was after a conversation with my son Ian (then 12) and Stefanie’s only full sibling. He was struggling with his own loss and his own guilt in not having “saved her”. Although I hadn’t consciously mulled it around in my head, it hit me that things could be worse.
Certainly I knew intellectually that losing one daughter when other people have lost so much more was not the worst the world could throw at me. I had seen some horrible things at work, but it was hard to accept, at the time, that I could possibly feel worse than I already did.
But Ian was right there in the window, all of 80lbs. Had he know, he might have run outside and tried to help her and ended up in front of that blade. We might have had to buy two coffins or watch him suffer with life long injuries.
When that thought occurred to me, I sat on the sofa and cried (something that at first wasn’t that easy to do), not from sadness but rather from the relief of not having to carry that burden as well. I can’t say it made me feel good, but it certainly shifted my focus to something I was grateful for which provided a flicker of “things could be a hell of a lot worse”.
I had trouble finding other positive things to focus on, so for a long time that was my one thought.
“Thank God Ian didn’t go outside.”