Monday, March 31, 2014

Introducing The Grateful Project

My attitude hasn't been all that great lately. It's been too easy to see the things that are hard and complain about them rather than see the good things and be thankful for them. I knew something needed to change, and The Grateful Project was born. For the month of April, I will find one thing to be grateful for each day. I'll hopefully take a photo of whatever it is I am grateful for and share it here with all of you. I'd love to see what you are grateful for too!

I know a lot of readers are people who have lost children. And I know it can be SO hard to be thankful for things when the one thing (person) you desperately want is not with you. But will you join in? Even if you don't share publicly what it is you are grateful for, I encourage you to have a look around you each day and see the good things.

It's my hope that by doing The Grateful Project, it will be easier for me to have a positive attitude and be a little happier each day. I'll see if it works in 30 days time!

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Always meant to be ours

When I got pregnant with Levi, I was excited, scared, thrilled and petrified. But above all the mixed emotions was one simple thought that I could not get out of my head for weeks: if Ariella had lived, this child would not have existed. You see, if our baby girl had lived, we would not have planned to get pregnant as soon as we did. I struggled with feeling guilty and wondered how I could love my second child whilst knowing that their existence was dependent on Ariella's death. It was really hard!

But then a dear friend suggested something to me. Maybe, just maybe, Levi was the child we were always going to have second; maybe all his sister's death did was bring his arrival forward in time. It was a comforting thought and one I tried to hold onto. A few months later, another friend said something very similar. After hearing it for a second time, I decided that I needed to believe it to be true. I assumed I would never really know for certain, but I liked the idea that Levi was always going to exist and that Ariella's death simply meant that he existed sooner.

By the end of my pregnancy, I had forgotten all about those thoughts. I had forgotten my initial worries and feelings completely and never thought about what Ariella's death meant in relation to my second child. After Levi was born, I had a lot of bad dreams about things happening to him. But I also had one dream that was oh so lovely while I was asleep but heartbreaking when I awoke. I dreamt that it was a lovely weekend morning, and Marcus and I were laying in bed with our two children - a curly haired, sweet faced two year old girl and a darling little baby boy. I woke up with tears streaming down my face because that dream would never be my reality. It made me miss by baby girl even more as it showed me what I would never have. For weeks I hated that dream.

And then I realised what it meant. It wasn't Ariella and some baby. It was Ariella and Levi. Ariella AND Levi both existing, just with a larger age gap between them. I don't believe that every dream is significant or has meaning (thankfully, as I can have some strange ones....drummer for Jimmy Barnes' band? I don't think so!) but I do believe that the dream I had of my two children was from God. It has put to rest any question as to whether Levi only exists because Ariella died. In the dream, both of my children were alive and the gap between their ages was closer to the gap I would have hoped for if Ariella had lived.

Levi William, always meant to be ours.

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