As a parent, I have often found saying NO to be easier than saying YES. Over the years I have made a conscious effort to consider the questions my kids ask me before I blurt out a negative response. Many times I realize that the reason I say NO is that I don't want to take the time to weigh the pros and cons of the request. I will confess that there have been more than a few times that I have squashed one of my children's earnest pleas with a backhanded motion that means absolutely not...and then found myself in their room an hour later apologizing and reconsidering.
After Phil died I noticed that this pattern of saying NO off handedly applied not only to parenting questions, but I began to see the tendency popping up in my daily life. When asked out to dinner with friends...I could think of one hundred excuses for not joining the fun. I might avoid a party, a luncheon, a baby shower, birthdays, graduations--you name a social situation and I can assure you I found a way to avoid it. But more than the lack of desire to participate in all things social, was my complete disdain for life in general. I said No because it was easier than putting out the effort that saying YES would require. Saying No was taking over my life. And I didn't care all that much.
With some prodding, encouraging, begging, and a bit of blatant ordering my friends and family helped me emerge from the cocoon that I so frequently used to hide from the outside world. The first few months after Phil's accident actively participating in life was impossible; grief paralyzed me initially. Then I just didn't feel like having fun; depression began to sink in with the reality that Phil wasn't coming home. After some time I stepped out a bit, and learned that I was capable of enjoying life, just a little. Finally I took the leap and opened up my world... I began to say YES.
Saying YES to life has brought me countless gifts; most unexpected, many impossible to imagine four years ago, and all of them sweeter as a result of my personal experience with death, and the mighty aftermath that follows.
But death is not strong enough to keep me from living. And so, I took the leap and said YES, once again.