Some things are too hard to swallow no matter how you try to disguise them.
Losing a child is one of them.
I have been a student of the Bible for decades-I take Scripture seriously, believe it with my whole heart and trust that the truth it contains is necessary and sufficient for this life and the life to come. But when Dominic died, I found I was forced to look again at verses I thought I understood.
If you’ve justjoined this awful “club” the thought of celebrating anything may make your heart shrink and your eyes fill with tears.
That’s precisely the way I felt for a very long time. Not because I didn’t think there were still oh, so many things and people worth celebrating, but because I couldn’t remember what joy felt like much less experience it.
My heart was filled to the brim with pain, sorrow, longing and fear-there just wasn’t room for anything else.
Still, I kept up the discipline of celebration even when I wasn’t feeling like celebrating.
Slowly, slowly, slowly, as I picked my way through memories and feelings and did the work grief required, I made space in that broken heart for other things.
And now I can testify that celebration is once again a gift!
I not only mark the big things-like birthdays and holidays-but also the little things-like making muffins with my grandson.
Any and every excuse for a photo or a cupcake!
Today is my oldest son’s birthday and his dad and I are here to celebrate it with him for the first time in I don’t honestly know how many years. I am happy to make him a yummy meal (or take him to a favorite restaurant) and buy a special treat to mark the day he said “hello” to the world.
And I’m more than happy to spend time with him and watch as he pours into his own son some of the love and life we’ve poured into him.
So if you aren’t “feeling it” try faking it or at least showing up.
Eventually there will be a moment when your heart once again embraces joy.