After a profound loss, it is difficult to let joy back in. Often even the happiest moments feel bittersweet. You can even feel guilty for having a moment of happiness briefly outweigh your grief. It’s crazy. You can have a great day – enjoying all the little moments and then suddenly griefs pops back in, bringing his good friend guilt and makes you feel like you are a miserable personbecause you let yourself be more happy than sad for an instant.
We never forget our grief, our pain, our sorrow, our longing to hold our baby again, but there are times when we have to allow it to take a backseat to the life we are still blessed to live.
I have an amazing husband. I still wake up every morning grateful that he is there next to me. I don’t take that for granted. He can still make me laugh and I genuinely enjoy spending time with him. But then I feel guilty. It’s as if I think that losing Josh means that Patrick and I should never smile again. I know that is absurd. We deserve to smile. We deserve to find joy. We deserve so much good because we have suffered so much bad. Learning to find joy in our lives now is difficult. It’s a daily challenge of balancing a happy marriage filled with so much love but also so much grief.
We really are just taking it one day at a time.
Slowly, it feels like joy might be creeping back in. My smile seems less forced and somedays I even feel hopeful.
Don’t get me wrong, there are still tears in my eyes at least once a day and the future still terrifies me with all of its unknown possibilities, but I’m getting there.
The truth is, I have faced the worst possible thing ever and I’m still breathing. I know that together we are strong, but it is still difficult to fully enjoy the joy we do feel. If that makes any sense at all.
The future is scary. The “what ifs” linger in the air after every conversation we have about expanding out family of 2 that should be 3. This time last year we were still talking about how we wanted 3 children. We were discussing names and we were full of so much hope and joy for what we thought our future held. This time last year we were just a husband and wife getting ready to celebrate our first anniversary, still waiting to see two little pink lines show up on a plastic test. Now we are still husband and wife, about to celebrate our second anniversary, but we are also a mom and dad that has been to hell and back this past year.
Our hope, our joy, our naive innocence that you get married, you get pregnant, and you get to have a baby has forever been changed. It really does feel like more than just Joshua was stolen from us back in February.
We are trying to be hopeful. We are trying to be optimistic. We are trying to let the joy back in, but it is not always so easy.