Grief and Joy. Joy and Grief.

August 26, 2014 by  
Filed under current, Serenity Space


I chose JOY as our theme for August because I needed it.

More than anything at the time I was selecting the theme, joy was calling my name.

As the month progressed, I saw that this was one of those moments when something I thought was purely for self was in fact guided by a divine force. Yes, I needed an infusion of joy. But it became more and more clear that it was not only for me – collectively we all needed joy during August.

Some days I wished I could hook up a giant IV, and drip feed joy into the very marrow of our bones.

Some days, I wished we could all light a candle and breathe the fire into our soul, and be renewed.

Some days, I just wanted to crawl back under the bed covers and grieve.

This month has been a lesson on grief. On loss, and being unable to find the words to comfort or express the depth of what we’re feeling. It’s taken me twenty five days to pull forth these words, and it may yet have taken a few more before you’re reading them.

As July’s dying days blew her cold winds around Australia, my niece let go her tenuous hold on life. Stillborn at 36 weeks. I have gently folded and put away the things I knitted for her, but that does not mean I have put her out of my heart. My prayers for my brother and his dear wife alternately flood and rage, despair and hope.

And as we said goodbye to Isla, along came more grief. Two more deaths in quick succession, bringing the family together in shared sorrow and that common refrain at times like this – it’s sad that this is the thing that has brought us together. As if in death, we draw family members from far and wide back into the same orbit – briefly yet tenderly – to remind us of the importance of life.

And that, my friend, is the biggest lesson I’ve learned this month. Our life is important. Family is ever so precious. And joy is everpresent, even in grief.

When the news of Robin Williams passing and other worldwide tragedies hit, I was on grief overload. It didn’t take much to send tears coursing down my face. I couldn’t engage with the news, and yet it felt like the world was joining together in a collective grief that echoed ours.

I believe we have a choice. We can choose to wallow in our grief, our outrage, our fear.

If we wallow, if we storm and rant and posture and demand why and how, we lose.

If we let anger take over, we lose.

If we let our collective grief blanket us and paralyse us, we lose.

If we wear our suffering like an exclusive badge of honour, we lose.

Or we can choose joy.

If we choose joy, and wake to see the sun rise on another day, we win.

If we choose joy, and hug our family and tell them we love them – all.the.time – we win.

If we choose joy, and find solace in a touch, a smile, a tear – we win.

I choose joy. In every moment, in the hardest of times, in the most anguished of nights… It isn’t easy. But isn’t that all the more reason?

In this time of turmoil, what do you choose?

About Káren

kw 250I am Káren Wallace – empath, see-er of your depths, coach to women who long to light up the world and have clean knickers for tomorrow.

Like Michelangelo I see the statue in the stone. My gift is to help you see the single tree within the forest. With the perspective of that incredible treasure that’s already within you, I guide you to become what you know you could be. With huge doses of pragmatism and love.


6 Responses to “Grief and Joy. Joy and Grief.”
  1. Oh Káren, this must have been so difficult to write – and it is so beautiful. Like you, I believe that joy can be found in even the toughest times, and it is what makes us resilient and creative. May your joy shine a soft light to ease your grief over the coming months. Sending love. x

    • Julia, so sorry I haven’t responded to your comment before now. You, my friend, have had more than your share of tough times, and yet I still see you, smiling and participating in this beautiful life. There really is magic in seeing and sensing that joy in even the darkest moments that helps us not only to get out of bed each day, but to smile in the dawn light and know we will be OK. Receiving your love, and returning it full force. xxx

  2. I really don’t know what to say. My deepest sympathies. You’re in my thoughts.

  3. janice says:

    Words fail me. All I can do is send you and your family love and pray you continue to find the strength to face all the tides and phases of grief.

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