My approach to daily living has been changed by the persistence of grief that has followed the loss of someone so deeply personal to me, that she went down the very roots of who I am. I’ve been through loss before and hard times, but nothing quite like the loss of my mother.
It has taken intentional action to catch my equilibrium as I adjust back into the chaos of my life. What I have found is that there glimpses of joy that flash all around our lives like fireflies in the Southern night sky. These glimpses are momentary and yet illuminating at the very same time. If I pay attention and seek the glimpses of joy they distract me from the heavy weight of grief that doggedly tugs downward on me.
In my grief I search for the glimpses of joy because I watched my mother do that very same thing in the heaviest of moments. She found laughter and the bright side of every occasion. I set out to follow her example because I know that my mother never would have wanted this loss to be the place in life that I stopped my momentum and stood still. She would have wanted me to move forward.
I had spent three weeks in which the world was a large as the space surrounding her hospital bed. After her death, I found rejoining my life already in progress to be like jumping on a carousal ride that was already spinning, bobbing and bouncing with lights flashing and music playing. It has taken some adjusting to get used to riding on the carousal of my life knowing that my mother isn’t coming around the corner any moment, and her voice won’t ever greet me again on the other side of my phone.
What I have learned in this space of grief is that even when your roots are pulled up that you can’t live your life unearthed. It takes great effort to replant — but it must be done — even if our bloom is different this Spring than it was last year.
And so each day I watch for the glimpses of joy that flash all around me. I am taking the time to relish in the joy of my children’s laughter, the dependability of my husband, my history still alive in my father, the familiarity of my chaos, the certainness of my faith, and the care of friends and family all around.
Some days are darker than others, but in those days the flashes of joy shine more brilliantly and take my breath away.
Grief is universal and we all go through seasons of struggle. What carries you through? What are your glimpses of joy?