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  • Writer's pictureMartina Huntington

Pressing Forward | Overcoming Grief

In the first few days of my accident, amidst the pain and drugs, I remember being extremely confused about what happened. All I knew was that my back was severely broken, everything hurt, everything was fuzzy, and I was in bad shape. 

Over the next couple weeks, among learning to breathe and sitting up with assistance, I learned my spinal cord was completely severed and I would never be able to walk again. Never, ever? I was in worse shape than I thought. 

Shock. Anger. Depression. Bargaining. I’m pretty sure I hit all the stages of grief. Would have, should have, could have kept running through my mind.

But it had to stop. What happened already happened and there was nothing I could do about it. I am here now. Now is what I’m looking at. Now it what I can focus on. Now is what I can work with, and what I do now will stage my future. This quote by Thomas S. Monson sums it,

“There is no going back, but only forward. Rather than dwelling on the past, we should make the most of today, of the here and now, doing all we can.”

We are born with an inherent resilience. Use this resilience to face our challenges headstrong. We have abilities beyond our comprehension. We can do hard things. We can take on challenges like a boss. In fact, we are our own bosses. We choose how we respond to challenges. We can choose joy. We can face circumstances we never thought we’d find ourselves in, and say, “I can do this. I am capable of this.” We can do seemingly impossible things and come away winners on this journey called life. For believers, we’ve got God and Christ by our side, cheering us on. The hurt, the pain, the sadness...they will be there for a while. Embrace them. Learn from them, for they are all part of this human experience. But God will give us the strength we need to get through this. Little by little we will get there. We’ve just got to keep going. We've got to keep on trying.

And one month from now, one year from now, one decade from now, we’ll be grateful that we kept pressing forward. 

Asian woman in wheelchair in the forest in Utah in the fall

10 years have passed since my accident and I am here. I am in my now. I am happy. I am grateful. I made the choice 10 years ago to live my life in such a way to shape my now, taking on challenges proudly, and I will keep pressing forward to shape the rest of my life.

I know it’s not going to be easy. . I know there will be times where we want a do over. I know I won’t always know the right thing to say. I know there will be days that will test our bounds, our patience, our grit, our decisions. I know it’ll sometimes seem too much. But “this too shall pass.” But it’ll be worth it. Things will work out. What seems hard now is just staging our better now. We’ve got to keep going. We’ve got to keep pressing forward. 

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A.J. and Martina are college sweethearts who are the parents of three wild wee ones. Together, they share their experiences as parents, stories from their travels around the world, their search for new wheelchair accessible routes. They love spreading awareness about disability, and sharing positivity and kindness. They are believers of Jesus Christ and are members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and are based in Utah.

Read more here.

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