Grief and Joy

We’re five days into June and I’m still trying to catch up after last week’s laptop melt down.  Should we talk about what happens to us when our electronics die on us?

Before that event, I was writing a post about grief and joy.  When I’m helping people work through the death of a loved one, they are often surprised when I warn them that there will be times when we will laugh together.  In the depths of their pain, they don’t believe it to be possible.  But it is, and it does happen.

Just as we have to allow ourselves to feel the pain of loss, so we also have to be willing to feel the lightness of laughter when it comes.  Staying sad won’t bring anyone back into your life.  But as we take those steps to recovery, smiling, laughing, enjoying life once again are natural outcomes.  And let’s be honest, isn’t that why we’re all here?  To go beyond the loss?

I thought about this topic the other night when some laughter rang out during our support group.  No one gasped, or looked guilty, or stopped the laughter.  We had been tackling some heavy subjects, and it felt good to step back, take a deep breath and crack a joke.

Even if you can’t reach high enough to embrace joy and laughter, you can try for happiness, or calm, or just a quiet moment.  Little changes can add up to big relief.

The other reason why I thought about the topic is the arrival of June’s newsletter from the Action For Happiness group in England.  They included a graphic (click here to download) with some wonderful ideas for bringing joy into your life and the lives of others during June.  I thought I would share it with you.  If you are up to it, find something that you can share with everyone in your world.

Smile.  Hug someone you love.  Lift your face up to the sun.  Find happiness again.

Many blessings and lots of cyber hugs!



14 Replies to “Grief and Joy”

  1. When I read your excellent post I thought about this old school song by Frankie Beverly and Maze. Joy and Pain, Sunshine and rain. That’s what life is composed of. These back in the day songs had lyrics that actually meant something.

    Frankie Beverly And Maze – Joy And Pain


  2. This is an excellent post. Thank you. Just today in NYC we’re dealing — not me personally beyond the general sorrow of hearing of another life lost to pain of whatever kind, but in the media and I’m sure far more acutely, the loved ones and friends — with Kate Spade’s apparent suicide. The pain of suicide is a kind of grief that is often harder to find words for, and yet even after that kind of sorrow, there can be memories of laughter and of times of joy. It is hard to believe, but it still is part of continued life. I hope those who knew and loved her will find solace and healing.
    Thank you for the lovely June Joys chart. I will share it with some who I think will find it helpful. I know it made me smile.
    Take good care (and my condolences for the death of electronics … and not only tongue in cheek — these unexpected technological full-stops are often a source of stress and adjustment and quite as often require yet another learning curve).


  3. First, I guess I’m not the only one who got melted down last week! It was a bad electronic week.

    Maybe this sounds silly, but what really FINALLY helped me was just letting go and feeling the pain. I had spent so much time trying to avoid it, running away, hiding, pretending I was JUST FINE THANK YOU, when I finally just let it all hit me, I started to get better. I was still sad, but I could start back up because I’d let myself fall.


  4. I talked with a friend recently about people and their stories. She has an amazing business and writes memoirs for people suffering from dementia. Or at least it started like this. She does write stories for people in palliative care too now. She gives the gift of a story while people still can read it and tell it. We talked about my friend who was really sick and unfortunately she never wanted to sit down and get her story on paper. She passed away last night and I just saw this post. I just returned from a walk with the dogs and my son. And while we were struggling with tears we talked about so many moments spent with my friend and her family and had to laugh so hard about some of them. Laughter is so good for you and it definitely helps you through grief. It’s the stories we share and I’m sure that’s what helps the people you deal with too. The stories, the memories. Especially the happy ones…


  5. At first I believed in grief you could never laugh but I soon learnt to not laugh and be happy means you have lost more than just your loved one. Life is about being happy and healthy and that is what they would want for you. I really love that you are spreading the word that it is ok to be happy or at least to laugh to relieve the pain if only for a second.


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