Anon's Story - A changing of heart

"I'm grateful for the most random things now, that I often took for granted before..."

Image with illustration of a purple heart

Gratitude journaling is what got me through the past year intact. I lost my son, Bobby Gatto, to a bicycle accident on December 11, 2022. It's the worst thing that's ever happened to me or to anyone in our lives. He was the person who never took life for granted. He was appreciative and grateful for every moment and made the best of life's ups and downs always. He was my inspiration when I was lost. He gave the best hugs.

Writing all the things he's made me grateful for, all in one place, a list, and a journal to follow the list, is what helped me continue to move forward and be a good mother to my daughter. I can only hope I'm able to spread some of the gratitude along because it fills the emptiness in ways nothing else can.

I'm so grateful for the music and the sound of his beautiful voice when he sang. I'm so lucky to have a recording of him singing, of him laughing. No one would have ever seen this tragedy coming but journaling helped me to put my feelings to words and understand them. I'm so grateful for the ability to do so.

I'm grateful to the beach for being our favorite place to go together and to the school for making him fall in love with his education and providing him with a safe space to learn and grow. I'm grateful for his smile, his laugh, his advice. I'm grateful for the most random things now, that I often took for granted before. I'm even grateful for the times when he was most challenging to raise, although those times were few and far between.

They call it Vilomah, meaning against the natural order of things. No one is supposed to bury their baby. It's Vilomah. But it doesn't mean we can't be happy for the happy times, even in sad times. A friend said to me, "Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened." That's my son's life. I will smile upon his memory, and I will do it with gratitude.

It's even helped with the depression. I recommend taking note of all to be grateful for, for a few minutes beginning and ending every day. It's 15 minutes of the day, but it can do wonders for the soul.

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