A fellow bereaved mom commented on my recent holiday post with this question: How do you make joy, when your heart has no joy?
It was a good and honest query. One that stopped me in my tracks.
When your heart is so broken that all is dark inside AND outside, where does the word “joy” even fit into your vocabulary?
I’m not sure I would have described anything as joyful for months after Dominic ran ahead to Heaven even though those days included two graduations and a wedding.
I felt positive about those events and I longed to feel joyful, but I just could not muster the energy to do much more than smile for the camera.
So I think, for me, it was a matter (over time and with much effort) to choose to allow joy back into my broken heart.
There are moments of beauty even in the darkest and most difficult days.
At first I refused to recognize and acknowledge them because to embrace joy seemed like treason. It felt disrespectful to Dominic-making light of the horror of his untimely death.
But eventually I realized that embracing whatever good I might stumble upon in a day wasn’t denying the awful, it was admitting and affirming that death didn’t have the last word.
I am walking the Valley now, but this journey will not last forever.
One day it will end with more joy and love and laughter and glory than my finite mind can imagine.
So the bits of joy along the way are simply flickers of light guiding my heart Home. ❤