Neither Did I

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“When hearing of our failed adoption, people often express their dismay. “I could never adopt,” they tell me. “My heart couldn’t take it. I don’t know how you survived; I don’t have the strength to make it through something like that.”

Before I lost my daughter, I’m sure I voiced a similar sentiment when confronted with tragedy. It’s a common enough response, one we clutch like a talisman, a ward against pain. Surely only those who are strong enough to survive the heartache of unthinkable situations are forced to do so. Surely those who bear the death of a child or a spouse, who navigate the brokenness of the foster care system, who journey through terminal illness or disability or any number of terrible circumstances have some secret reserve which gives them the ability to stand when anyone else would fall. Or so we hope, for if pain only comes to those who can withstand it and we know our hearts would not survive such sorrow, this must mean we will never be forced to endure the worst. Our weakness is our own protection.

If you haven’t experienced deep loss yourself, you may question your ability to endure in the face of trauma. You might think you just aren’t strong enough to go through serious pain, and you may very well be right. There’s a good chance that right now, you don’t have what it takes to walk through such heartache on your own. But then, neither did I.”

I’m sharing about finding the strength to survive tragedy over at Brain, Mother today (the blog of the fantastic Brain, Child Magazine). Join me there for the rest?

Photo Credit: Diana Poulos-Lutz

Family and Parenting

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