I often talk about the importance of finding joy amidst grief and loss, and apologise if I am too repetitive. For me, the momentary pleasure of a rush of joy or bursting into laughter or feeling love is very important when I am feeling sad or alone. It connects me to others through laughter or love, to nature when I see or smell or hear something beautiful, and to myself, simply by recognising I can still feel joy.
One of the hardest times in my life, when I was in hospital with my second ectopic, when it seemed it would never resolve and there was a prospect it had turned cancerous, almost always brings memories of the brilliance of the red flowers on the pohutukawa trees by the hospital carpark. I could see them from my hospital room, and took pleasure in the blooms, just as whenever I see cherry blossoms now, I remember how they gave me moments of joy during the days of visiting the hospice and sitting with my father as he was dying.
The joy doesn’t mean the pain isn’t there, or that it goes away never to return. But joy provides a blessed moment of relief from pain. It is a promise that I can feel happiness, and will again. If I’m repetitive here, perhaps it is because I need to remind myself regularly that there is always joy in this life, and I should never forget to look for it.