Months after Sam’s death, and shortly before he was gone too, my father, always trying to cheer me on, reassured me that I’d find joy again. I disagreed. I didn’t want joy, happiness. I was consumed with grief, and wanted to die too. He worried about this, I’m sure, which added to his grief.
What I’ve learned about joy over the past eight years:
It’s one of the hardest things you have to do—find joy again, after loss.
It’s never the same kind of joy you felt before, when he or she or they were here, alive.
This joy lies in between the grieving and the living; that middle place where grieving and living coexist.
And in this middle place you find the still point, the peace.
And you find peace when you do whatever it is that makes you happy, no matter how ridiculous.
And whatever it is, it will be enough (for the time being).
And enough is the key.
What else is there in this life?
But the scent of your favorite soap. The sound of a snoring dog. The taste of butter and honey on a waffle. The lunch hour you spend laughing and talking with a close friend. The incredulous smile on the elderly man’s face when you hand back his lottery tickets, after the wind grabbed them away from him in the grocery store parking lot. This moment in between the grieving and the living, when you are running, chasing, and stepping on flying wisps of paper, that is the still point.
And enough, for the time being.