Thankful

Tonight I am feeling so angry. I am furious with the world and with God and with all the events that led to my girl being taken from me. I am supposed to be at a work function right now, but I took myself away because the last thing I need right now is to have another well-intentioned person make a remark fueled by alcohol. I can’t stand people being overly sympathetic or ignorant. Sometimes I just can’t stand people. That reaction is so far from the woman I used to be. I was the life of the party, first in and last out. I was twirling on the dance floor and the one having deep and meaningful conversations in the women’s bathroom.

I’m sad that I’m not her anymore. She was carefree and never understood real pain. Her ignorance was complete bliss.

But what does that say about me? Would I rather be her, or would I rather be me, now? The truth is I would pick this me a thousand times over and for one pure reason: this me has Zoey. Not had, has. I carry her in my heart, words and actions.

Sometimes I need to remind myself of this, and so in my rage I decided to write a list of things I am thankful for. Things that never would have occurred if not for Zoey being born, living and dying. To be honest, it was tough to start, but by the end I discovered so much about that girl that I used to be still alive in me. She hasn’t died too, just changed.

Zoey, because you lived and because you died, I am thankful that I learnt who my real friends are. I saw goodness in people I had previously shut out of my life. I learnt more about my friends, saw their strengths and saw their weaknesses. Through us, they grew too. You brought our family closer, and even though I still sometimes distance myself, they unquestionably accept me, because they knew and loved you too.

Zoey, because you lived and because you died, I became honest. I am healthier. I can communicate with my body. I learnt about nutrition. I learnt about your dad. You brought us closer ;I love him so much more than I ever thought possible. He became healthier too. Because of you he has lost over 11kgs and lowered his blood pressure. He will live longer because of you.

Zoey, because you lived and because you died, I became brave.  You showed me what bravery looks like. I believe in heaven more than ever because there is no where else your soul would go I feel connected to nature because the energy of your being was absorbed into it. I look around more. I am present. I understand now that crying does not equal weakness.

Zoey, because you lived and because you died, I volunteer. How many families may be benefiting because you lived? We raised money for new hospital machines. No  other child will ever endure what you did because you lived. You helped them. You changed their lives. You made me a mother; not a mother with empty arms, but a MOTHER. Period. I am a whole mother and always will be thankful to you, Zoey.

Gratitude can carry us out of our darkest moments. On days you can’t stand it anymore, remember to be kind to yourself and count the steps (or crawls) you have taken in the right direction. I was furious before, now I am smiling. It may only last for a short while, but I adore grief in these moments, when I can truly appreciate my daughter for what she is, a temporary blessing in my arms exchanged for a forever angel in my heart. Although her time was brief, she continues to impact the world, through money raised, through me. A tiny teacher with so many lessons, and I am so very thankful.

Lorraine Donnelly

Lorraine Donnelly

Lorraine lives in Sydney Australia with her wonderful husband Andrew. Just 3 months after they married she fell pregant during their honeymoon. Zoey Emilia was born in February. She passed away at 3 and a half months of age due to a severe genetic condition. They never got to take her home from hospital. The traumatic experience helped her to realise how precious life is. She spends her days day dreaming of Zoey and finding ways to honour her memory.
Lorraine Donnelly

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Lorraine lives in Sydney Australia with her wonderful husband Andrew. Just 3 months after they married she fell pregant during their honeymoon. Zoey Emilia was born in February. She passed away at 3 and a half months of age due to a severe genetic condition. They never got to take her home from hospital. The traumatic experience helped her to realise how precious life is. She spends her days day dreaming of Zoey and finding ways to honour her memory.

3 thoughts on “Thankful”

  1. I lost my daughter on June 30th she passed away between 3am-10am. She was 5 days old when she died. I miss her dearly and talk to her everyday. And know that one day we will see her again and never again will we be apart!

  2. Hi Tracey,
    That is just so wonderfully beautiful to read. What an impact they can have!
    We are still navigating our first ywar without her, but Im sure if I carry her strongly and allow her to guide me through life, that we will have so many more things to be thankful for in the future.

    Thank you for your comment. Xxx

    Ps Im also in Australia and would love to learn about your support group. Is there a particular cause around it? Feel free to connect with me on facebook if it’s easier to chat x

  3. Hello Lorraine I feel I know you, because in a sense I am you. I have walked where you are and 27 years down the track I am still learning the ways our sweet Louise changed me, us and our world. If it had not been for my strong, stubborn warrior princess we would not have had the courage to strike out and travel across the world to take on a five month backpacking hike next year.
    I would have missed out on meeting some of the most wonderful people in the world that are parents to daughters/sons like mine. I would not have become a Midwife to help families navigate the system that was so daunting for me. We would not have started a support group that now runs conferences all pover Australia for families to connect.
    Our children though small and fragile taught us how to really live. God bless you both as you remember Zoey every day <3

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