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I apologize, for going missing recently. Sadly over the weekend, my mother-in-law died after a 19 month fight with pancreatic cancer. She lived longer then most do with such a cruel and despicable diagnosis. Fortunately those 19 months were filled with family and friends, she was able to see her 4th grandchild be born and her youngest son get married–all of which we didn’t believe she would see when she was first diagnosed in early 2010.
Since yesterday I have been honestly wondering what to write here…what can I say in the midst of such loss and sorrow? Right now, It doesn’t feel like I am living happier. However, if there is one thing I know for sure, loss and sorrow are just as much a part of living happier as joy and celebration.
I am struck by the wide range of emotions that have been experienced over the past few days. Relief that her suffering is over, Joy for those that believe she is gone on to a better place, Sadness for us left behind and will miss her, Reflection on our own lives and how death effects us all, Anxiety around the change that this loss brings and Celebration of an amazing woman who lived a giving and generous life. All those swirling emotions, each of them raw and stinging. And that is life. Life is messy.
Life is filled with holding both…the celebration and the sorrow. So while I may not feel happier now, honoring my mother-in-law’s life, supporting my nearest and dearest, crying with my own pain…all of these will help me live a richer more happier life.
Today I encourage you to kiss your loved ones, celebrate the joys in your life and cry over the sorrows. Life is short and I believe the key to living happier is to fill it with as much authenticity as possible.