It's now been an unbelievable six years since I lost my mom. She was the rock of my life, my mother—my best friend and really the beginning and end of my world. Losing her was indeed the hardest thing I have encountered during my life, and anything challenging since I lost her has become, in some respects, more minor since dealing with that. In others, doubly challenging, as I lost the one person in whom I could trust without judgment, bias, or prejudice.
I have learned many things. I have changed in more ways than I thought possible—all of them for the better. I think of it as the start of my spiritual awakening. Here are nine of the most important things I took away from this great loss: