There is no right or wrong way to behave when grieving: anger, bitterness, guilt, joy, tears, laughter and then some. I’m learning that through this life it’s important to identify my feelings and if I allow myself to feel all of these emotions, even the good ones, I can Grant myself healing and find joy once again. Grant, what a perfect name for him. Every meaning of the name describes him, especially the word gift.
I was gifted an amazing, fun, and loving son, maybe not for as long on earth as I would have wished for, but he made my life full. As each day presents itself to me I’m learning to recognize the completeness of the life I had with him instead of drowning in the emptiness of his physical presence.
Telling humorous stories about Grant helps me cope. It makes me think of happy times with him. If even for a moment I can remove myself from the present and reminisce back to my happy place it gives me the gift of laughter and a reminder that even through the sad times he and his memory are still with me.
We all approach humor and laughter differently. I think it returns in its own time… some days more than others but surrounding myself with the right people has been a part of true healing.
For the first two years or so after losing Grant I felt guilty for existing much less laughing or feeling joy. I envied it, I wished to feel happy again. There was a pit so deep inside that I always knew I wanted to feel whole again and to desire some bit of joy to cradle my sadness…
I’m learning to understand the healing benefits of laughter. I really don’t think I appreciated laughter in my past the way I do now. Do I still find myself in a puddle of tears four years after my son’s death? Of course… any given day, at any moment. Am I different? Yes, but my family, my friends, my co-works knew me better than I knew myself. They knew my humor, my positive look at life and even though they knew I was drowning in sadness and deep heartache they continued to breathe the fresh air of laughter in me. They are the people who helped me recognize I have room for laughter in the face of my tears.
These past few weeks I’ve thought a lot about finding joy in the midst of sadness, I started thinking about how Grant would make me laugh. If I ever seemed down he would make a fool of himself just to turn my frown upside down. He would give that big pouty look with his bottom lip as he tilted his head to the side. When I reminisce about these times I can smile again. I can remind myself he would want me to laugh again. How can I not when he lives through these beautiful smiles below…
I LOVE YOU Grantie,