03 February, 2020

No Kidding 2020 Project: Day 3 - Delight

In the dark days when I was dealing first with loss, and then with the realisation that I would never have children, I had moments of relief from the disappointment and grief. In those fleeting moments, joy crept into my life. When it first happened it was unexpected, and I was taken aback, shocked that I could feel joy in the midst of the worst times of my life. Shocked, and guilty. I felt terrible that for a few moments I forgot about the all-encompassing loss and grief I was feeling. It felt like a betrayal – of me, of the babies I had lost, and of my husband. I wondered what it meant. If I could feel joy, maybe I wasn’t grieving as much as I thought? If I could feel joy, maybe I hadn’t tried hard enough, or wanted it enough?

But the simple fact is that, just like it is hard to escape sadness in this life, it is also hard to escape joy. And joy helps the sadness pass. It doesn’t erase it, certainly not at the beginning. But it gives some relief. It shows that life is always worth living, and a sign that we will be okay. Let it find you. Let yourself feel it.

And so my message today is to delight in whatever brings you joy.

I’ve written about the importance of joy quite a lot (I have 19 posts labelled “joy”), but that is because my memories of those flashes of joy are so clear, so intense, and that being able to feel joy or delight was an important, if surprising,  part of healing.


  1. Yes, yes to joy! It is a weird thing when you're in the midst of the loss and the realizing that your life is going to be different, and then you experience joy and feel guilty about it. I am getting better at embracing the joys in my life, especially when they're joys perhaps I wouldn't have had I had children. And I'm embracing the joys of other people's children with delight (mixed with some hangover-style sadness after that doesn't linger too long).

  2. So, so beautiful. I felt similar after my miscarriages. It was hard. I felt guilty, but I loved how you put it - that joy helps the sadness pass.

  3. I hadn't thought of joy as a part of healing, but of course it is.

    And you've reminded me to be OK with joy. Upon reading this, I realize I've been closed down to it for a time. I intend to welcome it.

    1. It is easy to forget. I've been forgetting recently too.

  4. This made me think of reading "Bridget Jones's Diary" in the days after my daughter's stillbirth. It made me laugh, at a time when I felt like I'd never laugh again, and I'll always be grateful to Bridget & her creator, Helen Fielding for that. :)

  5. Dear Mali, I love your 2020 project :-) What a good idea, I'm looking forward to reading your following posts on the topic!