Friday, September 19, 2014

Finding Joy in the Midst of Grief

The first year of grief is the worst year, or so they say; however, many friends have told me that you never get over the death of a loved one.

You'll probably spend a lot of time reliving happy memories, looking at old photos and wishing that things were different.

You may wish for one more day, one more smile, one more kiss, one more chance to say, "I love you" but your wishing is in vain.

There's no standing still in life. You have to move forward and somehow find acceptance as you learn to cope with your new normal.

Find joy in the simple things in life like the sun rising out of the churning ocean to herald the dawn of a new day.

Find joy in the magnificent beauty of nature as you watch the sun setting over the mountains and know that you've made it through another day.

Find joy spending time with those you love. Surround yourself with people who make you laugh and who bring smiles to your life.

Find joy all alone in the places you love the most. Let feelings of peace and comfort wash over you like waves over your feet.

Life is what we make of it. Don't cry because it's over now, laugh because it happened. Remember that just wishing changes nothing.

The sun won't stay behind the clouds forever. My Mom always said, "Better days are a-coming" and I know it's true.

Find joy in places and things that remind you of your loved one. Everywhere I go lately, I see butterflies bringing love from beyond. Sometimes there's only one, but sometimes there's a pair. As they flutter and fly together, I know they're telling me everything will be okay.

Find joy in your faith and know that God is always with you, even in the darkest night. Pray for the peace that surpasses all understanding.

Find joy watching nature's creatures: the hawk soaring across the sky, a deer in the woods, a bee sipping nectar from a flower.

Sometimes the tears will flow from your eyes like water from a bucket. Although it seems the tears will never end, it's okay to cry.

The lyrics of a familiar song may bring you comfort. "Awake from your slumber! Arise from your sleep! A new day is dawning for all those who weep." These words from the hymn City of God are so true. Our tears will be turned into dancing, all in God's time.

Find joy spending time with your partner. None of us are promised tomorrow so be loved and show your love today.

Find joy when you look to the heavens, knowing that your loved one is looking over you. Look at the clouds and see love.

Find joy in the world around you. Go to the water, the source of life. Listen to the current of the water at the lake, river, ocean or stream and you'll find peace.

Find joy in beautiful places close to home. Sit in a garden among the flowers and enjoy the peace and quiet. Find joy and let your heart be light.

Find joy in your own yard. As you move through your daily tasks of life, take time to really see the beauty that's right under your nose.

Find joy by living each day to the fullest. These words written by Sheila B. Cabrera speak of aging, but also speak well to living through grief, "I refuse as I age to deny my years. When asked at 30, I'll be 30. When the question comes up at 45, I'll take 45. For what year could I subtract? The one in which my son or daughter was born? Or the year I first fell in love? How about one less favorable? Like the year I came down with pneumonia. Or one of those grief-filled years spent saying good-bye to someone close? Maybe I could choose the seemingly insignificant. That year I saw a falling star? Or the one spent not enthralled with life, just content with it? No, I think I'll keep them all, the good years, the bad and even the not so memorable. To deny one would be to deny myself. Because added up, they are my life."

Find joy in the seasons of the year and the cycles of the days. The night is always darkest before dawn, but dawn always comes.

Day follows night just as joy follows sorrow. The first year is almost certainly the worst. All of those firsts await: the first day, first week, first month, first birthday, first holidays, first everything without your loved one.

Life is beautiful. I know it's true, but somehow life was more beautiful with you. One day we'll all be together again. But until then, I'll do my best to find peace, comfort and joy each day.

Blogging Grandma Sandy, signing out for now.