small pieces of joy

pieces of joy in each day

twenty fourteen

on December 31, 2014

twenty fourteen.

Last year on this day I was reflecting on the good that came from the worst year of my life so far. The year I lost my dad. I also wished that the new year would be filled with better days and taking steps to move forward with my life.

The most profound difficulty was losing my grandfather only five months after losing Dad.  Grieving multiple losses is a completely different monster that sneaks up on you and sometimes feels like it will never be defeated. I would feel better about Dad but then I would remember Papa was gone too and I would take steps backward.

I then began to see a grief counselor, thanks to the nudging of a concerned aunt and my own desire to feel better. Through counseling I’ve been able to better understand how grief affects all aspects of my life, and I gained many insights into coping skills, self-care, and overall better mental well-being. I also put together a new page that contains all my posts about my grief journey in hopes my writings may help others.

Things began to look up when we were able to celebrate something with family: Dr. Jonathan.

July brought another happy celebration, my cousin’s wedding. And we enjoyed a family reunion in Breckenridge. Many smiles were shared during that family time because for once we were together for something positive.

September was the start of the mom’s group I helped form at my church. This required a lot of planning as well as mental preparation. I was not ready to present myself to new people, let alone try to make new friends, but the tug from the Holy Spirit could not be ignored. We had a good number of moms at our first meeting and it is looking like St. Gianna’s Moms Group is off to a great start, and hopefully will help me continue to move forward socially and spiritually.

BLUE OCTOBER. This post and this one will explain all that went on in my mind and heart during the Royals’ quest for the crown.

George’s birthday and many visits from family kept our spirits high through most of the fall. The perpetual sadness and the cloud of grief seemed to dissipate slightly throughout the year. As I continued to think, read, cry, and pray I felt myself beginning to define my new normal. A normal where I will always miss Dad and his void will always be felt. A normal where I will cry in the doctor’s office and other strange places. A normal where I will say no to things I used to say yes to, and take better care of myself. A normal where I live in each moment and not in the past or the future I wish I could have.

We already know of many challenges we will face in the next few months, as we have some more family illnesses to conquer. I know we’ll pull through because this year is evidence that there is sunshine behind the clouds.

My hope for the new year is the same as last. May there be better days and may we all continue to move forward.

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