Grief and joy can coexist.
Through sadness, heartbreak, grief and pain, we can still feel joy. At first it may seem impossible but somehow we pick ourselves back up and we smile again. We laugh again. We remember the little things in life that make us happy and focus on including more of that in our lives.
Grief does not have a timeline. There is no right or wrong way to grieve. Finding joy can take a long, long time. But sometimes, in the midst of seemingly never-ending tears, a smile will sneak up on you in the middle of nowhere.
When your dog rests her sleepy head on your belly… The place where you feel most empty.
When your toddler walks over and gives you an open-mouthed kiss on the lips for the first time.
When you come home to find a care basket on your doorstep from some of your closest friends.
When you hear stories of hope from people who have walked in your shoes before.
When you realize just how much the people you love in your life care about you and feel your pain right along with you.
When someone tells you it’s okay to hurt and cry but promises you the pain will somehow lessen overtime, even if it never fully subsides.
It has been a just over a week since Ryan and I learned we would never hold our baby in our arms. A hard week, an emotional week but, somehow, a week that also included small moments of joy and laughter.
Over the course of the past eight days, I sometimes feel like I am trapped under a cloud but other times I feel a sense of normalcy because even in the moments when I feel like my life is on hold – like the whole world is running full-speed ahead and I am standing still – I am reminded that there is no pause button in life. Whether we’re ready or not, life moves on and I don’t want to miss the unbelievably good moments that come in the tiny everyday things.
I don’t want to miss laughing when Chase tries his hardest to jump off the ground when, in reality, it kind of looks like he’s twerking. I don’t want to miss noticing the beautiful sunny 65-degree weather we had in Charlotte yesterday. I don’t want to miss the feeling of comfort I find when I place my head on Ryan’s chest at the end of a long day. I don’t want to miss the peace I feel in my heart when Sadie sighs and falls asleep curled up next to my stomach.
I know I cannot wish, will or pray away my grief and, to be honest, while I believe and hope time will help heal my heart, I want to feel every ounce of sadness I am feeling right now because in some way it makes me feel closer to my baby.
When the tears come, I let them. But when joy and laughter bubbles up, I’m not ignoring it.