When Hayley Lewis agreed to let me interview her for my website I was very eager just really to talk to her and hear her story in her own words. As a matter of fact, she said stated she agreed because she said that she felt her story was not out there and her words had been manipulated by other media outlets. I expected to sit with a grieving mother but what I did not expect was to learn as much as I did from her.

I think the question of any tragedy is how do I continue to live? How do I go on everyday living and to be able to live happily? What I realized while interviewing Hayley is that she really did not have the answers to those questions. She is a mother like so many mothers who are still grieving the tragic loss of her son and is still battling immense pain and trying to figure out how they are going to make it and go on.

I think the way to continue to live life after a tragedy is to find something and hold onto to it. In Hayley case, she would constantly tell me that she did not feel like going on and she was so unhappy and so sad because she was missing Tanner so much. While interviewing her we talked about her daughter, her two small dogs, Tanner friends who have become like her own children, and she mentioned her best friend as well. She began to tell me stories about them all and how they all played a special part in her life.

What I really thought after interviewing her was that we all will experience a loss of a loved one or experience times that cause us to feel like the wind has been knocked out of us. And when we find ourselves in those times we think how will we go on living. The answer to that question is to find something no matter how small that gives you some sort of inspiration. We have all heard the expression “take it day by day” and I think that’s what we have to do to make it through the roughest times of our lives and even sometimes minute by minute.

Hayley to me is a mother who lost so much when she lost her son but she also has gained so much. She has gained the opportunity to help others through telling her story. She can see how strong she really is as she is making it through this situation. And she has gained new surrogate children from Tanner friends and able to be an influence in their life and help guide them as well.

She does not see it like so many of us when we are going through the dark times of our lives but you really do come out wiser, stronger, and better than when you went it. My wish for everyone who has experience horrific times in their life is the same wish I had for Hayley. That is every day I hope that God will heal your heart a little more which each day that passes.