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Monday, December 12, 2016

Searching For Joy - by Tina Zarlenga

I have been reading some articles regarding grief and the loss of a child, this one from the Compassionate Friends website struck a cord with me:

Darkness arrives without her knowing as she sits quietly mourning her thoughts. The shadows in the room fade into memories of the past, the place she often hesitates as she attempts again to push away the anguish in search of the joy she desires.

Avoiding all awareness of the mirror, she rejects the image before her, no longer recognizing who she has become, as the tears come calling again. Tired of stumbling regularly, she leans into the hurt that betrayed her, longing for a breakthrough not cloaked in sadness.

Fractured recollections are carved deep within, cutting through the skin in a tattoo, scars engraved on your heart, casting a wound with images engrained in her soul. Shaking her head, as if this will dislodge the sadness, she recalls the tear as it slid down his face, devastating her further.

He died before her, in her arms as she cradled him, saying goodbye while the shock clung to her breath. There were no words to console her; his life was ending and all that swirled within her was an invitation to join him.

There was no time to question our lives in search for a remedy. No time to call in a team of experts for help. When loss occurs everything is stripped away. Nothing arrives, just in time, no remedy to fix him, no lifeline to save her, the life they once shared flutters into a memory, and time continues slipping away.

A shell of her former self, she is empty, and the act of going on is too overwhelming to bear, so she sleeps. But sleep is just another ruse in the mysteries of grief, waking in a fog, feeling happiness until the crash of reality sends you back to the puddle you left behind earlier, back into the sorrow that echoes from the emptiness. 

Using compassion to embrace this place of grief she begins her pursuit, seeking more love, true happiness and pure joy. But joy does not just appear, it must be discovered, unearthed beneath the debris that sadness has dragged in, blanketing the life she once knew, as it masks all the dreams she previously held.

This new beginning was hers to catch, the time to uncover the obscurity and allow in the light. Exploring her motivation, she unravels the softness that she has cultivated through grief. This kindness fills her heart, captivated by the beauty she had to be taught when stumbling through heartache.

The prospect of joy continues to intrigue her, commanding her attention to pursue the changes she needs to explore. She wants joy; she wants to believe in joy again, allowing it into her heart without her fear that lingers so closely behind it.

For so long she has muddled through her life, forcing the faded smile to appear, broken and set to burst as she attempts to get through one more day. Unwrapping sad stories and heartbreak that go on unnoticed, with the tears of what was, she has to learn to move forward.

I don't remember how long it took or if there was a day that I started living again. I had fought against the current for so long, I did not notice when it changed directions. I did not feel the embrace of joy when it first arrived, or the compassion around me when I let it in. It was a slow melting of the iceberg, revealing a bitter taste of joy with its mixture of happiness and guilt, but it was a beginning.

While searching for a reason to go on after losing their five-year old son Ryan, she discovered that giving back could actually save her. Tina Zarlenga is married with two children, sharing stories of inspiration and hope, as well as her journey through grief with emotional essays of life on her website Unraveling My Heart the Write Way, http://www.unravelingmyheartthewriteway.com.


This gives me hope that one day I will find the joy and compassion again....thank you to all of you who have been there for us and continue to be there as we move through this journey of grief.

1 comment:

Marci Scher said...

Deana Munchow Wow... that's powerful..... I can even begin to understand your loss. I try, but I can only imagine and that's not nearly good enough­čś×