Over the past year, I've wondered at times if happiness would ever be mine again.
Following a year of sad times and dark days, I'm ready to invite joy - that giddy, twirly, innocent happy - back into my life.
I've missed it desperately.
This requires a new level of letting go. Letting go of regret, letting go of anger and letting go of Mom.
It feels weird just to write that.
Of course, grief doesn't just begin and end at our prescribing, and I expect times of sadness will find me at surprising moments for the rest of my life.
But no level of grief will ever bring her back or undo what was done or make the end of her life any less painful. Nothing will ever change that.
Living my life fully and well, however, is still within
As the wound of losing my mother begins to heal, I'm starting to rethink next steps. In doing this, I'm aware that some residuals of grief, including caution and fear, have transferred to other areas of my life.
For example, I am less certain of my ability to be successful in any endeavor I might take on. Prior to Mom's illness and death, my confidence was high and I regularly took professional risks to keep myself engaged and passionate.
Somewhere along the line, I stopped taking risks.
Plus, my failures seem larger to me now and I have less trust in the wisdom of the universe. Feeling vulnerable, it is easy to second guess myself and my decisions day-to-day.
I didn't do that before.
Finally, I'm trying to balance my need for happiness while being supportive of those who are still in the throes of grief. My father's loneliness is palpable and my siblings are moving through this process at their own pace and in their own time.
As it should be.
Still, I crave the deep, hearty laughter that renews my heart, mind and spirit. Something inside me knows that happiness is waiting. I have glimpses now and then of feeling genuinely good, optimistic and at peace.
I have also lived long enough to know that joy is multiplied when it is sought after and recognized. We face every day answering, how will we approach the world? And where will we find light and happiness?
For the first time in a year, I embrace these questions.
image from pimeusa.wordpress.com