I must admit I am a worrier. I needlessly worry about what might happen in the future. After my daughter-in-law miscarried Liam I worried about whether or not she would be able to have another child. I worked myself into a state before my open-heart surgery, worrying about things like the breathing tube, chest tubes, and whether or not I would even survive.
But my worries proved to be unfounded. My daughter-in-law gave birth to a beautiful rainbow baby boy who will be two this year. And I did survive surgery—I found it ironic that the things I worried about never materialized; it was the things that I never considered that did!
I am slowly learning to live in the moment—not to dwell on the past or worry about the future, but to appreciate today. This is so challenging when dealing with grief or illness. We often resort to a “could’ve, would’ve, should’ve” mentality. But today is all we really have.
I’ve come to realize that each day brings its own set of challenges—why add to them by rehashing the past or worrying about the future.
Finding some quiet time in the day can help us refocus and recenter ourselves, bringing us back into the moment. After my surgery, I spent a lot of time in my recliner in the den. My husband placed a birdfeeder right outside the window where I could see it. I just got lost in time watching the birds come to feed.
Finding joy in the quiet has helped me through my struggles. After Liam’s loss I felt paralyzed. My heart ached for my son and his wife. We all experience grief differently and at various times. But you don’t need to deal with your worries and struggles alone–reach out to friends, find a therapist, meditate, practice gratitude–whatever you need to help you.
Deborah experienced the loss of her grandson, Liam, in January of 2019. She has two grown children, both adopted, and two grandchildren. Deborah lives with her husband, Keith, and dog, Kovu. Now that she is retired Deborah volunteers with several heart-health focused organizations. She is the author of the book “A Journey of the Heart: Learning to Thrive, Not Just Survive, With Congenital Heart Disease.