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
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.