By Eric Hodgdon

You never know how strong you are until being strong is your only choice.

A few days after we laid my daughter Zoi to rest, the house began to empty out as my family and friends went back to their own lives. For me, I enjoyed having the house full of energy during the previous few weeks. For someone that usually likes a lot of alone time, I found it oddly difficult to have that quiet time again. It wasn’t long before the questions began to pop into my head. What is my purpose now? What is the next chapter in my life? How could I continue without my daughter? What about her friends and my family? More importantly, how would they go on?

What became clear was that, at times, we all need to be guided through difficulties; in other words, guided through the chasms of unknowns we may experience. These unknowns were present for all of us. And each of us have different unknowns to contend with. All I knew was that we had to push through this chasm because we could see a light on the other side. It became my mission to fight for my family and all Zoi’s friends to find the pathway back to better days.

Along the way, the unknowns make taking each step a leap of faith. Some steps forward are good, and others are much more difficult. Either way, we put one foot in front of the other, one step at a time. I had another moment of clarity, a major milestone on this journey back to better days, is that you are carried by your thoughts. They become your reality and my reality was that we were all going to get through this. Thinking otherwise would have been detrimental to everyone. In this case, we had no other choice but to be strong, to take each step and carry on – for ourselves and for Zoi.

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