When I said yes to beginning this project of revisiting my book and sharing insights from where I am today, I didn’t consciously know that I would be rereading my words.

I am sure I knew it on some level, and if those thoughts had made it to the surface, I may not have said yes to this project.

As I reread the Prologue, I was taken back to who I was over 20 years ago; a mother who was trying her best to help prepare her teenage daughter for college. A daughter who tested every limit she was given. A mother who wanted more for her daughter than she had at that age. A woman who was not yet the person she was meant to be in this world.

I saw myself in that in between time when I knew something had happened, yet I didn’t know the impact it would have on our lives. During that time, I was angry with Leah because I thought this was another instance of limits testing. I was frustrated because sometimes it seemed like I couldn’t get through to her.

One of the biggest challenges after her death was separating the normal mother/daughter teenage angst from the feelings of pain, loss, and regret. In time I was able to work through those feelings, yet at that moment in time I felt like I was floundering.

Reading these words this morning took me back to the sheer terror I felt before I knew what had happened. It seemed like a cruel joke that I had to sit with dread and trepidation all the way from my place of work to the hospital, in the back of a police car no less.

I imagined the worst, yet the reality was far worse than I ever could have imagined.

I remembered how alone I felt sitting in the car by myself, while Dan was in another car, and we were both traveling too fast down the expressway.

Looking back now, I still don’t understand why I wasn’t told more about what had happened. I can see the courage and strength that was still lying underground in my being; the courage and strength that I would draw on in the days, weeks, and months to follow. I realize now that I had been preparing all my life for the part of my journey that was just before me. It was a journey that I didn’t want to go on.

Sitting where I am today, I am grateful for so many things.

I am grateful that I wrote about what I was going through in those early days even though I had no intention of sharing them in a book.

I am grateful for the opportunity to be Leah’s mother, she taught me so much. The lessons I learned from her blessed me on my journey and helped me in ways that I still can’t completely comprehend.

I am grateful for the opportunity to revisit where I was back then.

Each time I do I receive so many new insights. Insights that help me where I am; and insights that help me to be a better guide for my clients.

I’m grateful that you are reading my words now, and hope that you will receive blessing and grace toassist you on your grief journey, wherever you may be on that journey.