My goodness, if it weren’t for laughter and a sense of humor, I don’t know how one could survive this wacky world. It’s challenging enough as it is. Life can only be described as unpredictable and crazy and sometimes awful. Here’s a glimpse into my last 3 weeks.
I crashed my beloved bug convertible, survived the 3rd anniversary of my son’s death, managed to go through my Christmas decorations for the first time since Evan died, got sick with a terrible headache, cancelled a trip to NYC, and have been trying to take care of my sweet daddy who has been very sick and is still in the hospital. All of these events have moved me to tears and caused just a bit of anxiety and stress. I’ve wanted, not more than once, to retreat under the covers and not leave my bed. I’ve even called my therapist to get back on her schedule because well, holidays plus all this other stuff is just hard. I’m not as strong as I once was.
My point in telling these not so great events is not to dwell on them, but to point out all the wonderful everyday and special events that have also occurred in the same span of time.
In the past 3 weeks, here are just a few of the good things that have happened: I’ve spent an evening telling stories and laughing around a fire pit with my cousins and dad; had a special Friendsgiving dinner; spent time with my daughter cooking and going through Christmas decorations (while sharing tears and precious memories); had a fabulous Thanksgiving Day dinner with some new special loved ones; decked the halls at home and at school, gone on a quick trip with my sweet boyfriend and his boys; celebrated my bonus daughter’s 40th birthday, had a fun evening with some Bunco friends; befriended the sweet family that I crashed into with my car, photographed my crazy dogs in Christmas attire, and enjoyed all of my student’s delight in the library decorations. Plus, I’ve gotten extra opportunities to laugh, cry, and talk with my dad.
Wow, what a list! It’s simply amazing how all of that and more could have have happened in less than three weeks. Sometimes making a list is the best way to really see the good. It’s always there, even if it’s hiding. Why is it that we so often focus on the bad? We talk it to death, we analyze it, we dwell on it. Bring out the good stuff. Celebrate it! Don’t wait to do something fun or meaningful with those you love. Talk about the small victories and simple joys. And if you can’t celebrate right now, at least try to laugh at it all. Because, let’s be honest, lots of things that are awful have elements that are hysterically funny.
Yes, I absolutely hate some of the things that have happened in my life. We all know life can be really hard. There are things that happen that are almost unbearable. I will never stop mourning. Grief is just a part of me now. But, I am also very grateful. I recognize how many gifts I’ve been given. Knowing and loving and being loved by amazing people is the best gift of all.
Even when you lose the hardest ones to live without, the ones you think you can’t possibly go on breathing without, the ones who aren’t just loved but actually a part of you—it is possible to go on living. It may not always be pretty or the way others think it should be; it definitely won’t be the way it was before, and it will be bittersweet on the best days. My sense of humor runs darker and more morbid now, but I still laugh a lot. Maybe you have to look a little (or a lot) harder; maybe there are doctors, meds, therapies, or other helpful interventions involved, but whatever it takes, search for those reasons to keep going. Care less about what people think and more about being kind to yourself and others. Ask for help from God and the angels put on earth to help us. Despite all the awful, there is an equal amount of joy, beauty, love, and laughter to find and to give. Just make a list and you’ll see. 💕