Can I Feel Joy Again?

In case you’re wondering if joy will ever return, I want to assure you that it most certainly can.

It will take a lot longer than you wish it might, but it is there, waiting for you to welcome it.

At first it just felt WRONG to have a moment of happiness because if the pain of missing Dominic somehow didn’t fill my heart I was afraid it meant my love for him was fading. If the broken pieces were knitted back together then maybe one day they’d mend so well I couldn’t find the spot where he fit in.

But I’ve learned no amount of present joy will squeeze out that space where Dominic lives.

I can love him, miss him, sorrow over his absence and still revel in the beautiful blessings the Lord brings into my life.

Just this week I had the privilege of watching my grandson while his mother and father had a little time away. It was so much fun (and hard work!). I had forgotten how exciting it is to view the world through a young child’s eyes. Everything is new, everything is wonderful, everything is worthy of exploration and comment.

The little fellow walked down the hall my great-grandmother walked, my grandmother walked and my mother walked pointing a finger and asking, “This?” as he passed photos and paintings, doo dads and doorways.

The sixth generation to hear the creaking hardwood and learn about life.

What joy!

We showed him family photos and talked about Uncle Dominic. It raised a lump in my throat each time but it also helped me place Dom in his story-helped me learn how to talk about the uncle he will never know except for what we share.

I’m not going to lie.

More than a few times tears threatened to make their way down my cheek as I held his little hand and remembered holding another one just like it decades ago. Nostalgia can be hard to swallow when it’s all you have left of someone you love.

But I reminded my heart that it is big enough for both.

I can miss what I once had AND delight in what I have now.

Both are gifts I cherish and hold dear.

joy and sorrow | Poetry Joy

Author: Melanie

I am a shepherd, wife and mother of four amazing children, three that walk the earth with me and one who lives with Jesus. This is a record of my grief journey and a look into the life I didn't choose. If you are interested in joining a community of bereaved parents leaning on the promises of God in Christ, please like the public Facebook page, "Heartache and Hope: Life After Losing a Child" and join the conversation.

4 thoughts on “Can I Feel Joy Again?”

  1. Melanie,

    Thank you for sharing. We are spending time with our first grand who is 5 months now. Yes, she brings us such joy. I know this will deepen as she grows. My son (her daddy) will tell her about his best friend, his brother Jeff, as she grows, as will I. My daughter is expecting twins(!) in February who will add to our joy. Always my heart aches for my Jeff. He would have enriched his nieces’ and nephews’ lives so very much. Our joy is true, but weighted in the sorrow of loss. Keep sharing-you encourage us all💙💛


  2. It will be a year August 29th, since Wilson, our youngest son left us. He was our musician, people loving and so loving and compassionate and giving to us and his friends. Yes, I can feel some joy seeping in. God is good.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This article grabbed my attention. When Drew first left, I had an opportunity to ask another grieving mom (many years into this) would my joy ever return? I think it’s so wonderful we ask that particular question. Your article brought me to tears. In part, because it’s August..the dreaded month and yesterday up until I went to sleep, I was reading articles I helped compile for our neighborhood on the history of my house. It’s a larger project about about the entire neighborhoods history. I vacillated whether to include the Drew story. Our kind neighborhood shortly after his passing, renamed a baseball field in his memory. And so, maybe so. History is history after all. Thank you for sharing. Your home history has inspired me to go a step further.

    Liked by 1 person

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