April over at Life Through Logic and Faith wrote this amazing post that really got my gears turning. What good things have come from losing my daughter? And how can I even think about that?
Losing Leila gave me a whole new relationship with my Creator. I'm a Christian. Have been since I was 12. But I never truly learned to lean on God until this experience. I never put all my cares into His Hands. I never completely gave it all up. But losing my daughter has shown me a whole new level of dependence on God. I cannot get through this without Him. I need Him so desperately to get through today, and tomorrow, and the tomorrow after that.
Losing Leila exposed the structure of my marriage. Yasar and I have been together for eleven years now. We've come from very different backgrounds, and it's still a work in progress when it comes to compromising with each other. The death of our child has opened up some challenges we'd never had the occasion to face before. Like how I've taken on a parental role in this marriage, when I need to learn to come to him to support me the same way he does with me. And how we react to grief in opposite ways. It's been a learning experience for both of us. Personally, it's deepened my respect for the man God provided me.
Losing Leila has influenced the way I parent. Andrew has always been the light of my life, and now more than ever. While I want to cling to him more closely now, I find myself being sensitive to his growing need for independence. And I also don't candy-coat real life for him as much anymore. When he asks a question, I answer it very much as I would to an adult, just using simpler terminology. After seeing his dead sister, what possible damage can my words do?
Losing Leila taught me about myself. I give constantly to my family at my own expense. Grieving Leila has been an exercise in putting on my own oxygen mask before assisting others. I'm entitled to my feelings. They don't always have to be logical. They're mine, God created me to have them, and I no longer offer apology for them.
There are more lessons from losing Leila, when it comes to evaluating my friendships and relationships with family, as well as my interactions with my fellow church members and at work. So much we've learned these past 6 weeks! Leila, I can't believe what I'd be missing without your influence.