Tethered Happiness

In my last post I wrote about the need to “jump in puddles” and find happiness in this journey. The point I did not address was the guilt that sometimes accompanies that happiness. As a mother to children who exist on Earth, and in heaven, it is quite tricky in more ways than one. This is especially true when it comes to my own happiness. It is easy for me to foster as much happiness as I can for my living children. They deserve it. When it comes to me, however, there is always something pulling me back. How can I experience joy when I am not able to be with all of my children?

All of my joyful experiences are tethered to the shadow of sadness that will never disappear. I can remember saying to my therapist after Christian passed away, “The possibility of having the best day of my life is done”. The craziest things go through your mind when you experience trauma. (I also begged God to resurrect Christian! Needless to say, it did not happen.) My therapist’s answer to my “best day realization” was, you will have another best day of this part of your life. You have a new normal now.

I’m sure some of you have heard the saying, “joy exists alongside the pain”. It does. There is no other way to experience joy as a grieving mother. The guilt is what I am left to contend with. It is impossible for me to ever go a day without thinking about my son. It is also impossible for me to never experience joy again. I promised myself that if I was going to continue this life after losing him, then I would live it. Life for me includes joy and sadness together. Knowing this in my brain does not prevent the guilt from surfacing in my heart. When I do feel that guilt bubble up however, I picture my son. He had the biggest, brightest, most loving smile. He hated to see others sad. That is why, in my heart, I know that I deserve to experience happiness. In honor of him I will make sure I experience happiness. That shadow of sadness will always be there. There will always be a piece of my heart missing. For the happiness he no longer experiences on Earth, I will be grateful for the chances I continue to have. Love to heaven…

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