As I continue my 31 days of happiness challenge I am amazed at how many opportunities I find myself in that makes me think, "this is happiness." Happiness is all around me, present every day and just waiting to be seen. I am starting to think that happiness is more like a state of mind. Over the past year and 1 month, I have been unable to find that state of mind consistently... I find that grief often washes over me and it takes some time to regain my footing, to get back to a state of mind that allows happiness to be present. In the midst of grief happiness can seem like an illusion that you are just waiting for someone to take from you. It's easy when your grieving to live with a "ya, but..." attitude... I think it's almost like feeling as though I've learned my lesson and I shouldn't expect happiness because in the BLINK OF AN EYE it can be taken from me... and the hurt and the pain when you lose that which makes you happy is overwhelming. Declan died one year and one month ago today.... When I say those words my breath is taken from me, my eyes turn blurry with tears and my heart aches with deep sadness.... and my happiness leaves. Yet I am so blessed to have people around who know how and when to pick me up... I am fortunate because those who love me unconditionally still love me in the absence of my happiness and are able to 'put up' with me in my dark days... and I am lucky because my walk from sadness to happiness is not far. Here are the photos from this week of my "happiness is..." challenge!
Happiness is... an evening out with the kids and new friends!
We went bowling with a lovely couple who lost their precious baby 3 months ago today. It might seem strange, but being with other people who know the hurt we carry inside provides some comfort... knowing we do not walk this journey alone is important to our healing!
Happiness is... an afternoon at the water park with people we love!
My mom & dad and Nate's cousin and his family came up to Boji and we spent the afternoon getting wrinkly in the water! After Declan died, we became even more aware of how important family is and what investing in those relationships mean!
Happiness is... leaving a legacy behind in the hearts of those who love you!
My great uncles, Marv and Harold passed away within 13 hours of each other this past weekend so I had several funerals to attend, which brings back memories... but I was able to find happiness looking at this photo of my uncle Marv. I looked at all the photos his family had out on display and I thought to myself... "88 years of a wonderful life, filled with LOVE!" May I be so lucky!
Happiness is... having a group to 'lean into my grief' with.
Right after Declan died, Nate and I started attending Grief Share at our church... we both found it to be so helpful in our journey! I recently started going back and am feeling renewed and re-strengthed by the people who attend and the discussions we have. There are several other mothers there who have lost children and I find their knowledge and willingness to share their experience to be invaluable.
Happiness is... supper with my awesome dad!
What else is there to say about that? :)
Happiness is... learning about Jesus!
The kids go to 'sunday school' on Wednesday nights and they LOVE it! It makes me happy that we don't have to argue and fight with them to go! Thank you Hosanna!
Happiness is... this beautiful smile to greet me in the morning.
This little lady makes me laugh and smile so often... she is a funny little girl who can be so sweet and kind hearted. The blanket she is covered up with in this photo is one of her two "Declan blankets" that she has to sleep with! I thank God for her and Noah... I don't know how our journey would be if they were not a part of it!