I meant to show these photos from my trip to Bologna earlier this month. They are some of the most raw images of grief I've ever seen. What's more impressive is that they were sculpted in 1462 (by artist Nicccolo dell'Arca), before the Renaissance allowed artists to represent emotions more naturally. (See here for more details on the compianti, or sculptural representations of the death of Christ)
These images resonate because I know these emotions. I live them daily. But there is one thing that I never forget. You can never know great joy unless you also know its opposite.
It's not about what happens in your life, but rather how you deal with what happens in your life that matters. I am so grateful that my son has been a part of my life -- despite all his difficulties -- because through him, I have learned some incredible lessons. I know what it is to love unconditionally, and I find myself completely unable to judge other people for any reason whatsoever. These are gifts I would never trade -- even for a healthy child.
Sometimes I feel as though my heart will burst from the love I feel for my children....
The pain and the joy mix together to make something so beautiful that I tremble with the rawness of it all, and I thank God I am alive.
...couldn't have said it better myself.