Grief Can Be Treasured At The Same Time That We Celebrate Life

Self-Care Tip #283 – Find the treasure in your grief while celebrating life.

Today is my daughter’s sixth birthday.  If ever there was a person who doubled the love she received, it is this chid.  She is all passion.  Yes, both ways, but that isn’t to judge.  Just, there is so little I can offer in words to describe her power of self.

They're asleep!

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Tonight, we pushed two twin beds together so she and I could sleep beside each other.  Her sister slept nearby on another twin bed.  Her brother set his bed up in the closet.  (I know.)

If I wasn’t so tired, old and broke, I might be made vulnerable by times like this to having more kids.  Since that’s not going to change, these chubs are what we will stick with.  Happily.

My mind is turned toward God by this girl.  I somehow arrive in the moment praying when with her, perhaps for strength and patience or for humility and gratitude.  I learn from her.

Mommy, when I’m scared I talk to Jesus.

Often in times like this, I think of my niece, dead now six years, and how her parents and we wanted what was, what was stripped.  Still grieving and still living the life with us and in us, our braided thoughts and emotions easily lose their flow.

But today I have this clarity.  My niece is gone now six years and ten days.  Today my daughter is six years old.  Today I am sleeping with my three children.  Today I know that this is precious but this is not all we want.  We want what comes after our living years.  We want to let loose to Love the grief and the life; to untangle.  Not more.  Not less.  But we want.  We want what we have, now, although still in the unknown dimension of our forever.

In psychiatry, we are alert to grief that warps the ability to engage in life.  Grief that mars the connections of survivors.  Grief that becomes pathology, brain disease and a medical condition.  This grief disables and, for example, in the case of my daughter’s birthday today, would dissolve my ability to feel pleasure.

It is difficult to gain access to treatment as many of these survivors have ill opinions about medical care.  Such as; fearing medications will mute their connection with the deceased; mute their grief, or in other words, tribute/offering to the deceased; take away the personal punishment for surviving…


  • What do you say to these weeping lives?  How can we de-stigmatize medical care for them?
  • How have you been able to treasure your grief and the life with you and in you?

25 thoughts on “Grief Can Be Treasured At The Same Time That We Celebrate Life

  1. Been through those grief stages .They really are practical steps to move through and on. However, I have never been able to fully get past some anger and a sense that something has been taken from me. Unfairly. Robbed and cheated. Black Jack John died Saturday. Alone with empty bottles of scotch. That slow suicide in years of despair. A deck of 51… It will be just me and his niece. I will cast his ashes at the finish line at the horse track. He’ll like that. His race is over. Never heard him curse or speak a bad word about anyone. It is a “sure thing” and a “safe bet” he’s heaven bound. Consolation for us both.

  2. My father died shortly before his first grandchild was born, in hindsight I can appreciate a kind of natural balance in the events, at the time I was blinded by grief.

  3. Grief is such a difficult and person emotion. To feel what those who have lost a child, I can’t imagine their pain. Hugs to your family as you celebrate your life of love with those you have and in memory of those you’ve lost.

  4. Sana, you are passing on to your children what has come down in your family.

    We want what comes after our living years” I have been thinking about this a lot in recent years and now you gave me a stronger way to embrace it.

    What to say to the weeping lives…I am trying to show them by example and plan to keep learning to become more skilled and helpful. I harvest those special moments of trust and reaching out by others with sincere and frank testimony.

    Still working on how to find the treasure in grief and the life within.

    This post hit the spot for me and will be on my mind for a long time. Thank you Sana.

  5. “If I wasn’t so tired, old and broke, I might be made vulnerable by times like this to having more kids.” CLASSIC and TOTALLY made me laugh out load.

    Grief and joy can be mixed…and I talked about this very topic in my post this past Tuesday called Beautiful Instructions. It was about allowing myself to feel happy for my mother,,,and where she is today…in heaven…instead of focusing on my own pain and loss. It was a very enlightening moment in my own grieving process.

  6. I’m very much afraid of addiction for people using meds to help them through sorrow, yet overpowering sorrow is dangerous, too. Grief can stifle the life out of its victims. I was encouraged about the issue of meds to assist in grief when my second husband described his bout with severe depression after his divorce. He had become so sad that he couldn’t eat or sleep. He’d lost a lot of weight. I saw a photo. He looked bad. He went to a doctor, and the doctor prescribed an anti-depressant of some kind. He told him that it wouldn’t work for two weeks, but after two weeks he would see a difference. Just as the doctor said, after two weeks he began to recover at an alarming speed! He took it until he felt it was time to get off, and he got off. This is the dangerous part. Some fail to stop the meds, but he didn’t. This was a success story for medical intervention. Blessings to you, Sana…

    • hello carol. thank u for your comment, lady friend. i appreciated very much the sentiment and opportunity to share that there are very few medications that are prescribed for depression that are addictive. When people stay on it long term, it doesn’t reflect the addictive qualities of the medication, but rather the course of disease and need for treatment. This is really often misunderstood and easy to do. hugs.

  7. Grief leading to hope. What a beautiful thought to keep thinking about.. Thank you. And Happy Birthday beautiful six-year old little girl.

  8. When my daughter’s father was sick, somewhere in my mind I decided that I wouldn’t allow myself to feel good. I wouldn’t be well either, how could I? When he died it made me extremely and dangerously angry. Not because he had passed, but because people still continued to be happy and even have the audacity to laugh. I am not talking about those who were close to him, I am referring to the world. I read somewhere that the world doesn’t stop for one broken heart, how many does it stop for? When is it okay to not feel the pain of losing someone you are close to? Is it ever ok? It might not be “ok” but it’s necessary in order to be healthy….

    • XC, great to hear from u as always. you’re ever quick w the thoughts – “I read somewhere that the world doesn’t stop for one broken heart, how many does it stop for?” and all your other wonderful questions and answers. i agree w u that feeling our pain is important for health and sometimes i wonder if my joy would b so sweet if i didn’t have the ongoing opposite thread of emotion interwoven. what do u think? keep on.

  9. Beautiful writing and commentary on a poignant subject… I need to think about my relationship to the grief I have before responding to your questions, though.

  10. First, enjoy these moments with the kids for they are short. We had sleep-overs in a tent in the middle of the living room; we had fun. They trusted us with every question that their little minds could muster. Now at 20 and 18, they want to be as far away from us as possible… I wish they would hurry up growing so we can be ‘friends’ again. LOL
    Regarding grieving, some people want to feel the pain of their loss. They might not want medication because they believe that they either have a right, or they deserve, to feel the pain. I wish they could see it as a backache and the temporary need to take aspirin for a little while.

      • The teenage years arrived. LOL.
        When my kids were little, let’s say around 12, I explained to each one that at that moment they, as kids, came to mom and dad for answers to all of their questions because they trust us without fail. I added then that by the time they became teenagers, more around 15, they are going to change their mind, and “ask God why they got the most stupid parents in the world, and why their best friend’s parents couldn’t be his/her own parents”. I told him that those feelings were normal, and it wouldn’t mean that they were bad children; that it is part of growing up, and by the time they are 25 they would realize that we were always right (wink), and that they would be able to love us (parents) again.
        So, that’s why I say “I wish they would hurry up growing so we can be ‘friends’ again”. LOL… Hugs. Marie.

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