Complex Joy


I struggle tonight with what to write here. Not because I have no words for my pain... but because lately, I have been... happy. And I am struggling to write about that. Lately, my new life has become one I genuinely love. It may not be the life I had with him - but it is rich and full... and to be completely honest, it is actually far richer and more full than the life I had when he was part of it. I am a deeper, healthier, more open hearted person. I have deeper relationships with everyone I am close to now and have kicked the unworthy ones to the curb. My artistic career, although very challenging and still in the fledging stages, is meaningful and fulfilling for me. While I still have my bad days and occasional triggers and there are still certain aspects of my life that I am working to change... for the most part, I have a very full and fulfilling life.

I have mixed emotions about this. How can I possibly love my life again? And furthermore... how can I possibly love this life even MORE? How could I choose this life over my life with him if given the choice? (And I would actually). And how do I not really feel bad about that? That's some really complex shit right there.

I don't feel bad for feeling happy. I feel like it is only making Drew happier to see me finally wanting to embrace joy more fully again. And I do believe I deserve happiness. So why does it feel so damn difficult to write about happiness. Why do I fear that it will sound like I am bragging or that I will alienate readers who are in a different place on their journey through grief? It shouldn't be so hard to write about this. But it does seem like happiness becomes a taboo subject when we are grieving. Like it's not okay to admit that you may actually have some joy still left in you. Heck, maybe - eventually - you find you have even MORE joy left in you than you'd ever had before. I think this is how I feel now... that my heart is even bigger since he died - and has room for both more sorrow and more joy.

I'm just going to close this up by saying, I think that is a wonderful thing... the thought that maybe we can find just as much joy in new ways and in a new life someday as we had in our old lives. Maybe holding onto this idea can help us along when things are rough and there isn't much joy. And the grander thought that maybe - as our hearts expand from the pain of loving them - we will find that their death has created the space in us to experience even greater joy than we could have ever known had they not died. It's a complex idea, for sure, but in my heart I personally believe - this was his greatest and most lasting gift to me.

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