An Upward Spiral

My daughter died 24 years ago on April 6,1992. While more than two decades have passed, the impact of Maya’s short life continues.

Grieving for Maya invited me to mature spiritually and emotionally, and to reach a new understanding of the meaning of love. Love, in my new universe, included the ability to allow my child to have her death, on her own terms.

Maya’s life continues to inspire me, and countless others through the miracle of donation and transplantation – and through you, my readers.

I was 24-years-old when I became a mother and fell hopelessly in love with my bright, beautiful little girl. I could never have imagined that 19 years later I would be staring down at Maya’s face in a coffin.

Maya, age 18 months, at Lake of the Isles in Minneapolis

Maya, age 18 months, at Lake of the Isles in Minneapolis

I can’t sugarcoat the process of letting go. I thought it would kill me. Swimming with Maya shows how day by day I fought to raise my surviving daughter, Meghan, continue my professional life as a writer and editor, and find my balance in the midst of overwhelming sorrow.

Grief recovery is a dance where for every step forward you take two steps back, and yet somehow in the end you begin to spiral upward. Other than mothering, grief was the hardest work I’ve every done. I was fortunate to have a strong inner core, a set of spiritual beliefs, innate resilience, and a host of friends and family. Even so, there were days when I thought I wouldn’t make it.

Deciding to donate Maya’s organs and tissues to strangers in need was a huge factor in my recovery, and in the way Meghan dealt with the loss of her sister. We were privileged to have something miraculous came out of something horrific. That gave us hope. Having hope motivated me to keep on keeping on.

In my latest post on Inspire Me Today, I talk about the five life lessons I took from the experience of becoming the mother of an organ donor. I hope you’ll visit on Wednesday, April 6, and leave a comment. Because April is National Donate Life Month, it’s an important time to consider becoming an organ and tissue donor.

Nearly 124,000 Americans await such a life transforming gift.

Save a life! Become an organ and tissue donor.

Save a life! Become an organ and tissue donor.

You can register to become a donor at Donate Life America’s website. Let’s keep the upward spiral going!