Sunday, May 24, 2015

Experiencing and Accepting Joy

Note: Written originally as a post shared with my fierce, honest, passionate community of grievers whom I've gotten to know as a result of the 30-day writing course I did a while back. I posted this yesterday after reflecting on the absolutely wonderful day I had.

I'm writing this because I don't share a lot of joy on this page- seems a sacrilege in some way. Odd, I know. Also because, honestly, I haven't had a lot of joy to share. I recently blogged about the incessant desire to die post Gareth's death and I posted that with great trepidation.'s true. And I'm trying to do this grief as truthfully as I possibly can.

But do you know what else is true? I woke up today with a feeling of lightness. I walked the dog. I hopped in the shower and ate breakfast. All of it. And it didn't taste like cardboard. Then I downloaded some new music, loaded up the ipod, and went on a 5-hour bike ride along the river and damned if I didn't feel actual joy. I mean the for real kind. Serenity, I'd even call it.

And here's what I decided. I'm not to panic and think the joy is temporary (because it is- everything is, really). I'm not to think of it as a failure when I wake up in heaviness again. I'm not to think I'm doing a disservice to Gareth or to my incredibly personal grief by feeling light today. I don't have to worry that others will see my joy and be relieved- "Finally! She's over it!" Because some will- and, oh, well. They can just feel that way. Because you and I know what it's really like.

Here's what I'm understanding, about my own grief business, anyway: Something happened today and I experienced multiple hours in a row of good feelings. And what I know now, what I could-not-would-not-didn't-imagine is that this could happen. I am not "cured" of grief. I have not moved on. I experienced some joy. Period. And I will experience that depth of sorrow and feeling of wanting to die again, too. That's my guess. And I'm wondering if I'm not developing some kind of agreement with myself that both are ok. That both serve some kind of purpose. That I may live out the rest of my days in a kind of fluid state- one not negating the other.

If I have a day of joy, I don't get my grief card revoked. I don't get kicked out of this group. Gareth doesn't slip into an unreachable place. And if I have a day of death-thoughts, a day of wanting release, a day of not being able to do the simple tasks, I am not in a permanent state of chronic depression. I am mourning. Because I loved deeply and I feel the loss deeply. That's how it is.

All of this is true.

1 comment:

  1. "All this is true!" Thank you for sharing, Bridget. Your posting grants me acceptance and gives me hope of all my emotions.