I’m no art historian. But I think I may have solved the mystery to Mona Lisa’s smile.
For hundreds of years people have wondered just what is behind that enigmatic expression-it’s a smile, but almost not a smile.
Her lips and eyes do not agree.
I know exactly how she feels.
Some folks think bereaved parents want to prolong the pain and sorrow they are feeling. Some figure that those Facebook posts and Instagram photos and Tweets are aimed at generating pity.
But you want to know the truth?
Most bereaved parents long to feel happy again. They want, more than anything, to have a few moments when the weight of grief is lifted and genuine joy bubbles up from down deep like it used to.
The first chance I got to ask a fellow bereaved mom, I did: “Will I ever feel happy again?”
She was honest and told me it would come, but that it would take longer than I hoped.
She was right.
Nearly four years into this journey and I can faithfully report that yes, I do feel happy. I can laugh, I smile, I rejoice with those who rejoice.
I even have whole days when I am barely aware of sorrow and longing.
But the me that was jubilant and radiantly glowing with happiness is gone.
Instead, most days I am just quietly not sad.
You can see it in my face.
Just like Mona Lisa.