After losing Shawn to suicide, I felt as though the world stopped turning. My life stopped moving. I was left motionless and stuck in my grief. The world did not get the memo. It continued to move all around me. Which meant I was still left dealing with personal and financial responsibilities–paying bills and student loans, figuring out health insurance, canceling or changing certain services. This was just added stress on top of an already traumatic life event.
This past weekend, one of my younger cousins asked if he could purchase Gracie. His offer–a whopping one million dollars. He just graduated from the first grade, so this is well out of his price range. However, I responded that I would not sell Gracie for any amount of money. My dad obviously thought this was crazy, claiming I could buy hundreds of other dogs (as well as many other items) with a million dollars.
I know this is a hypothetical situation. No one will ever be offering me one million dollars for my dog. But I asked myself: Would my life be easier if I could sell Gracie for one million dollars? Yes, absolutely. Would my life be better? Absolutely not. While it may be true that I could purchase many other dogs, not any of those would be my Gracie. I really believe she was brought into my life to save me during this most difficult time–and that, to me, is worth well over one million dollars.
This topic of money and wealth was brought up again later in the weekend with my aunt and mom. My aunt has taught her sons that being rich is not necessarily equivalent to having a lot of money. You can be rich in many ways–rich with family, friends, love, and shared experiences. I found that to be such an important life reminder. So often lately I get bogged down by the thought of money and future financial concerns that I often forget that I already am rich–just in a different way.