Wildflowers In The Weeds: Finding Joy Again

I’d like to encourage my fellow travelers in this Valley today.

Often I write about and share the hardest parts of this journey. Because there are so, so many hard parts!

And they are rarely spoken about above a whisper (if at all!) in greater society. I am determined to be as honest as possible lest I know of a hidden danger along the way and fail to warn you.

But there are also precious joys tucked away along the difficult path.

The trick is to train your eye to see them and your heart to receive them.

I’ll be the first to admit that for months (probably two years) despair and sorrow and loss were all I could truly feel.

Bereft is the word I’d choose if forced to choose only one.

I became so adept at finding the sad in every situation I fell out of practice in finding anything else.

To be honest, it didn’t take much to find the sad. Holidays were duller, celebrations were always missing one, even a sunrise didn’t shine as brightly knowing Dominic was never going to set eyes on that day’s bright glow.

At some point, unbidden, a tiny spark of gratitude-like a wildflower among weeds-drew my heart to joy. Even if I tried, I couldn’t help responding to the fact that not every moment of every day was clad in mourning clothes.

Little by little color seeped back into my life.

I found that if I grabbed those bits, held them close and meditated upon them, they soon came closer and closer together. They grew to fill not just moments but sometimes hours.

Do not be distant, O Lord, lest I become so mired in yesterday’s hurts, that I miss entirely the living gifts this day might hold.

“Liturgy for Embracing Both Joy & Sorrow” from Every Moment Holy Vol. II: Death, Grief & Hope

I’ve written before that Gratitude and Grieving coexist.

I can’t weigh all my blessings on a giant cosmic scale against the bruising of child loss and make it balance. But I have also realized that I don’t have to live in a constant state of bitter sadness just to prove I love my son.

Life continues.

It brings good things, hard things, beautiful blessings and awful bruising. I have-in the years since Dom left us-had challenges and triumphs.

I’m learning that if I pluck the flowers of joy when I see them, I’m better able to survive the moments of despair when they overtake me.

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.

3 thoughts on “Wildflowers In The Weeds: Finding Joy Again”

  1. Thank you for this post. It has encouraged me so much. I have felt such shame, at times, for grieving so long ( 3 years, 11 months and 2 weeks since my son was taken). I work so hard to be “better” but have felt exhausted trying! Your honest posts help me see it is hard on all of us who have lost children. Everyone seems ok but, I guess, that’s a good thing…..just needed to let you know I appreciate you so.

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  2. Melanie you always spark my heart to more. I, too, have slowly found bits of beautiful and joy. Again, like you, those joys don’t take away the pain that I still feel over the death of my son, Dale. 7 years in (we’re a few months behind you) and some days are still hard and I suspect always will be. But I know God didn’t cause Dale’s death, but did receive him. And I will see him again and that gives me joy. I’m grateful for your writings.

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  3. I lost my precious daughter 10 months ago in a car accident. She was 25 years old. I found your blog shortly after and I must say that I have hung on to your every word. I even started using the phrase “ran ahead to heaven” because I can’t stand saying the alternative words. I have her now 4 year old son. We help his dad a lot. I also have a new grandson, a bright light in a dark time is what I call him. I know that I will feel joy again and I hold those moments tightly! Thank you for your honesty in this journey!

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