Friday, May 31, 2013

June Grief Project - Taking a Break From Grief

For the month of June I have decided to focus on taking a break from grief.  I know, I know.  You laugh, because we all know grief never really leaves and definitely not on command.  But this month I want to focus on finding joy again and being intentional about learning how to let sadness and happiness live together inside of grief.  So this month I am working towards following my second and third grief commandments:

#2. Sadness and Happiness can both live within grief.
  #3. Just because I'm grieving, doesn't mean I need to hide my Joy and Laughter.

Since my husband and I planned for a trip to France in the early days after Nora's death, one of the ways to focus on integrating joy back into our lives again is by traveling through grief as we travel to Paris.  We will see if grief follows me (I have a feeling it will).  I will also explore and use different recommend techniques to counter grief and focus on finding joy, like giving and getting hugs.  Then I will explore the helpful grievers, our pets and why spending time with Fido can help you feel better during your time of sorrow. I will also focus on laughing again and how to integrate and accept joy and pain as a part of grief.

Be ready to not only read about joy this month, but also about the dark places of pain.  My life now consists of living with both, side by side, and sometimes holding them in the same moment.  I was meeting with my supervisor at work the other day, (as a social worker you kind of have to go to a 'work therapist.' Someone you talk about your own stuff that comes up as you are providing therapy to others with.)  I told her about a client who I was trying to explain to about as humans we can hold space for multiple emotions at the same time, like anger and love, or sadness and joy.  My supervisor said something genius.  She said, "That's the awesome part of being human." I totally agree.

Pain and joy are both a part of grief and grief is love, and because of this, my grief will never end.  I will never as they say, "find closure." Closure doesn't exist as Nancy Berns, Sociologist on grief and closure, lectures about in her TED Talk I have shared with you below.  And that is okay, because I would never want to find closure for the love of my daughter.

If you have 20 minutes check out Nancy Berns Ted Talk. She eloquently describes what "That awesome part of being human is." Holding two emotions at once in the space between joy and grief.   


  1. Lindsey, I am so excited to hear about your joyful adventures in France! xoxoxo

    ~ Angela

  2. I am 4 years out from losing my daughter during a pregnancy loss and this post hits the nail on the head. I no longer expect to live without grief (I used to lament - when will this be over). Instead, I've simply found a way to live within the grief, joy, and every other experience and emotion that is thrown my way. I allow myself to be overcome with grief, because it truly represents the love I had for my daughter. In addition, I give and seek joy and happiness too. Its a new way of living, a life I never imagined I'd have.

    I'm excited about your June project. Have fun in France. I really do love following your blog! Thanks for all your posts.

  3. Lovely. This sounds like a great project for June and I am eager to read about it. Have a great time in France!

  4. I know exactly what you mean about joy and grief being side-by-side within you. My husband and I spent last weekend celebrating our 10th anniversary in the city. I was amazed at how relaxed and happy I was. Then we went to the art museum and I studied this beautiful painting of a mother reading to her daughter, and I broke. It was such a surprise and made me realize that my grief will always be there... The good thing was getting away was so good for us, as I'm sure Paris will be for you. :)


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