Joy and Sadness

This morning I read a quote to choose joy.  The quote added that life isn’t always great but that we can decide to be joyful and have things be okay.  While I like this idea very much, I find that lately I have joy and sadness together.  That is the norm after grieving the loss of a loved one, at least it is for me.

Being both happy and sad at the same time is confusing, odd, painful, but only too real at this point in my life.  I continue to be sad at our loss but also am happy that I have our son to share the journey with.  He continues to impress me, motivate me, and makes me laugh. So, he helps to make me joyful.

Some things that make me joyful are a lovely sunrise or sunset, or a laugh with a friend, or a delicious meal, or a chat with my family, or a favorite song, or a great book that I can be lost in.  There is a lot of good still in life along with the loss, the pain, and the sorrow.  For that I am thankful.

This summer was all about trying to find some joy and I think we succeeded.  We had interesting adventures with clients and their children, had some time to play, had time to relax, had time to have fun, and had time to mourn.

As the Bible states, there is a time to every purpose under Heaven.  Each thing both good and bad, happy and sad has its place.  Just trying to navigate that sometimes is tough and can hurt so very much.  Other times, we laugh over favorite memories, a funny story, or a cherished photo.

We continue to have mixed emotions as I am sure everyone does 8 months after the sudden loss of someone who meant so very much.  Even it if isn’t sudden, the absence takes a long, long time to accept and get used to.  And frankly, I am not there yet.

Instead, we try to have the absence be a part of our life.  We talk about Kirk, we laugh about Kirk and his jokes, we celebrate Kirk’s birthday at a restaurant that he would have liked, we look at pictures, and talk about what we think he is doing in Heaven.

We cry, we scream, we grieve, we miss him, and we are thankful for the times that we did have.  We are blessed to have known him, blessed to have loved him.  I feel so blessed to have been his wife and Ian is blessed to have had him as his father.  He was an amazing man, with flaws and so much love.

We also know that he would want us to carry on and continue to live a good life.  I do believe that he is with us and watching over us and that is a comfort.  Still, I do want to talk with him one last time.  I want to tell him I love him and give him a hug.

I took this photo this morning during a walk. It made me joyful. It looked to me like a window into Heaven through the clouds. I looked up and said hi to Kirk.  Maybe odd, but it felt like the right thing to do at the time. So, again some joy through my tears.

I read a headline of an article that states that it is helpful for those grieving to talk to the one they lost.  I don’t know about anyone else but I do that regularly.  I talk with Kirk about something that Ian did, I ask him to forgive me, I tell him I love him, I tell him how missed he is and how loved he still is.  I just wish there was an answer back.

For those of us grieving, may we be comforted by our memories, may we know how much love there was between us and the one(s) we lost, and may we know that happiness with sadness is okay and to be expected.

I did want to share that scripture that came to mind.  The time for every purpose under Heaven is in Ecclesiates 3: 1-8, which states:

  • “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
  • ” A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
  • ” A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
  • “A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
  •  “A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
  • “A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
  • “A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
  •  “A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.”

May we find our purpose, may we be kind to one another, and may we always, always love.

The Circle of Life

The last two weeks have been so not fun for Ian and me.  We have been sick — he with a cold and me with a sinus infection.

Needless to say the early spring was really rough on both of us.  With pollen being three times higher than usual (and even more than that), we both felt it when we went outside. There was green pollen everywhere — all over the cars and flying around in the air.

As I have been feeling so cruddy, I have had a lot of time to think and to pray. And I have come to realize how precious and short our life here is.  And, I want to make the most of every one of the 1,440 minutes in a day.

This week a dear friend at the church passed away.  She was 92 years old.  This lady was one of the pillars of the church and had been there for many, many years.  Her husband who passed away several years ago was as impressive a person and someone who also was a real pleasure to know.

Her name is Marlys and she always wanted to give a hug to her “kids and grandkids” at the church.  Several times she mentioned how well-behaved Ian was during the service.  That was always a nice thing to hear.  She will truly be missed.

I was not able to attend her funeral but understand that it was a wonderful celebration of her life with many dear friends and family in attendance.  The comfort is knowing that she is now with the Lord and is no longer in the pain that she had been in.

I hope that I too can have a long life like this and continue to help and comfort others.  I know several people now in real pain and dealing with many major life issues — either with their health or with their relationships.   I keep them in my prayers each day — asking for God’s mercies and love for them.  And, I also try to listen or help them in what they need.

It is interesting to think about the end of the one’s life and also the beginning of other’s lives.  My niece turned 12 years old yesterday.  I remember the year she was born and how beautiful she was.  She still is and is now a very interesting and multi-talented young lady – loves soccer and is very good on the violin. She is truly a blessing.

All of my nieces and nephews are very special and have been so wonderful to know and spend time with.  Each time I see them, there is something new and interesting in their lives. What a blessing and they helped prepare me for my own child.

It is amazing how quickly they have grown up — right before my eyes.  Life truly has flown by.  I try to remember each day to savor the time so life doesn’t pass me by.

And, I too have been fascinated watching Ian as he has been growing.  He has his entire life ahead of him and so many amazing things to learn, accomplish, and experience.  I am excited that I get to have a front row seat on this journey. My husband and I and our family are truly blessed.

This week he has improved in writing his name, has drawn some more amazing pictures, told me as we were talking about rhymes that “permit and Kermit” rhyme, and continues to figure out more and more new things.

Also, this week I have thought about the verses in Ecclesiastes 3:

  1. To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
  2. A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
  3. A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
  4. A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
  5. A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing.
  6. A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
  7. A time to rend, and a time to sow; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
  8. A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.

These words are true and very profound. I hope as people come and go in our lives that we can remember these words of scripture and enjoy and remember the times that we have with them.  There truly is a circle of life.

I wonder if we can realize how true this is.  I hope and pray that we can!