Grief vs. joy. Maybe it’s just me, but sometimes I catch myself seeing grief and joy as an either or proposition. But it doesn’t have to be. Emotions aren’t linear. It isn’t like you graduate from grief to joy. They can be in the same container together.
And when Grief Island isn’t a place of exile with only one emotion, it can be a place to safely stay as long as you want and need, knowing you have access to a whole range of tools, resources, and emotions. It frees you up to feel all the juicy richness of longing, despair, anguish, and vulnerability. Yes, I said juicy richness because we have to have loved deeply and experienced life fully to have those emotions triggered. They aren’t bad feelings – uncomfortable certainly, but not wrong.
Just as joy isn’t bad or wrong, even in grief. It isn’t a betrayal of our heartbreak or our loved one’s memory. It’s the allowing of lightness and the present in with our mourning. Laughter and tears cannot only co-exist, they can amplify and sweeten each other.
So go ahead, stay on the Island of Grief just as long as you need. Only leave when you are ready, because you can have all the awesomeness life has to offer while still in grief.
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