NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Six years after the Connecticut home invasion horror that killed a woman and her two daughters, there was a happy announcement from the survivor, Dr. William Petit.
His new wife is pregnant.
Dr. Robin Goodman told CBS 2’s Tony Aiello it’s an amazing example of how grief can co-exist with life.
“Even though you may not ever lose some of the pain, you can have a life that’s still filled with joy,” Good man said.
Six years ago, Petit was the sole survivor of the unimaginable home invasion horror that claimed his wife, Jennifer, and daughters, Hayley and Michaela.
Petit remarried last summer. Now, his new wife, Christine, is expecting a baby. She held a newborn niece Friday while Petit spoke to the CBS affiliate in Hartford.
“Children are the hope for the future, so it’s something that most people really want to have and experience, teach them how to enjoy life, and to grow up to be good people and help others. So I’m very pleased and very excited,” he said.
Petit is such an inspirational figure, but Dr. Goodman said therapists have to be careful about holding him up as an example to others who’ve suffered tremendous loss.
Everyone experiences grief, and responds to it differently.
Petit has said he seriously considered suicide after the tragedy, but was saved by his faith and encouraged to move on by his first wife’s family.
Goodman said it’s the flip side of post-traumatic stress.
“Post-traumatic growth can occur when you’ve been so upset, or terrified, or distressed. And out of that, you actually work through it and make something from it. Find some meaning. Maybe your faith is increased,” Goodman said.
The baby is due in December.
The Petits said if the baby is a boy he’ll be named William III. They’re still debating names for a girl.
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