Amidst Life’s Sad Moments

“The word ‘happiness’ would lose its meaning if it were not balanced by sadness.” Carl Jung

It’s only human of us to want to take someone’s sadness from them, but sadness is a part of life, a part that can’t forever be ignored. We think of sadness as a negative emotion, something that we shouldn’t feel. I don’t think that’s necessarily true.

What I have discovered this past week is that it’s okay to feel sad. Sadness in itself is not a bad thing. It is a part of life. In fact, it shouldn’t be ignored especially when we have a truly valid reason for our sadness. I’ve discovered it is best to allow ourselves to feel these emotions before moving on. The quote from Carl Jung speaks of balance and it makes sense to me in many ways. I’m almost certain that in order to experience happiness we do need to experience sadness. Otherwise how would be come to appreciate those happy times to their fullest? Happiness would be a continual state of being, not something to be cherished. It would just be.

The amazing thing about those times of sadness are those flashes of happiness that exist and persist, those little moments that arrive unannounced right out of the blue whether we wish them to or not. We, of course, have to be open to recognizing those flashes for what they are. If you’re not paying attention you could very well miss them.

I’ve experienced some moments this week that have gladdened my heart and made me smile, made me forget the sadness I was carrying for a brief time—a robin in the early morning struggling to pull a worm from the ground, the little story my granddaughter told me over the phone about a bunny, the peonies from my mother-in-law’s garden coming up through the ground, the kind words and acts of family and friends.

Death has a way of opening our eyes to life, giving us the opportunity to reflect, to examine what it is we want for our own lives. It gives us a time to retreat for a bit and contemplate the meaning of each day, and what we have to offer the world.

Thank you all for your kind words and cyber hugs. Everything’s going to be okay.

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  1. ” It gives us a time to retreat for a bit and contemplate the meaning of each day, and what we have to offer the world.” – death of a loved one does do that to us. Hugs to you.

  2. angela wilson

     /  April 19, 2012

    Laura, I just discovered that your mother-in-law (Frances Best) passed away recently. I am sad to hear this. I just want to add, in the obit there is mention that Alfred Veinot was one of her half-brothers. My ex-father-in-law’s name is Alfred Veinot and he is from Hempford originally. I wonder if they are, in fact, the same persons. If so, my, what a small world! Birth and marriage definitely broadens the family tree.

    • Thanks Angela. The Alfred I know still lives in Hemford. I can’t imagine there would be two by the same name is such a tiny community. I’ll have to check into it. Alfred is about 77 0r 78.

  3. alisondelory

     /  April 19, 2012

    Beautiful sentiment, Laura. I have thought in the past that while death is difficult, it brings us moments of clarity and appreciation that can be so valuable. I’m sorry for your loss, and glad you are letting yourself feel the pain and taking something positive from it.

    • Thanks Alison. There is usually something postive in most situations even if we fail to see it right away.

  4. Have to accept that even Lima beans(yuk vomit) are part of every stew.

  5. This is a beautiful post Laura.

  6. Laura, I am happy that you have found the balance between the sadness of your loss and the joy of remembering. The old custom of “celebrating” and having a grand party, the tendency to select those wonderful moments we shared. That and being surrounded with family and friends is what brings us to a new day :)

    • You’re absolutely right, Florence. Yeah for all those good memories and the ability to share them with each other.

  7. The loss of a loved one has a way of making us deal with our own mortality. Sometimes that’s a good wake-up call. Our time here is short, and we need to make the most of it.

    • Exactly true, Patti. Life is short and we do need to make the most of it.

      Death certainly makes us stop and reconsider things.

  8. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family right now Laura. I will share what someone told me once when I was very sad, “Time heals the pain, but the love never ends”

  9. Sadness is what makes us appreciate happiness. Like any other emotion, we need it like we need air.

  10. My mother-in-law died two Novembers ago. I loved her and admired her enormously and was so lucky that she was in my life. You will have some challenging times ahead when her not being there will be very painful, but it’s important to embrace that, too, because it shows how important she was to your life. It does get better. I miss my mother-in-law very much, but memories of her always come with a smile–and that was pretty much her style.

    • Thanks Heather for sharing this.

      I had a good relationship with her, something that I know many people can not say about their own mother-in-laws. As difficult as the experience was for my husband and I, I’ll never regret that we stayed with her till the end. Not having stayed would have been far worse.

  11. Julie

     /  April 20, 2012

    Sorry about the passing of your loved one. I hope all is going well as you recover from your loss.

    • Thanks Julie. We’re moving forward and these things take time. These past days family members have been sharing old photos on facebook and that has been very healing.

  12. No one is immune to sadness, that’s for sure. And my head knows that death is as important a part of life as breathing, yet…

    We lost our matriarch, my MIL in July. It feels as if she’s off visiting someone. She was 95 and very tired. I keep thinking that she’s missing this event or that special occasion. But is she?

    • I remember wen your mother-in-law passed. Can’t believe it was back in July. Time goes far too quickly.

  13. How so very sweet, Laura. And I think you have touchedbase upon one of the biggest truths of lief – that the light of light remains unseen without darkness.. that the sun is revered because the night falls unfailingly.. that every sorrow makes the next joy worthwhile. :) Take care, dear.. Punam

    • Thanks so much for commenting Punam. Life is a balance. As much as we might wish that every moment will be bliss and happiness that’s simply not possible.

  14. be gentle with yourself during this time.

  15. storyteller5

     /  April 22, 2012

    I agree with you, Laura. While these moments are heartbreaking, they help to remind us not to take anything for granted. Wishing you peace and love, and the strength to get through the difficult times. xxoo

    • Thanks Holli! I’m looking forward to the week ahead with our granddaughter. Life is definitely coming back into perspective. :)

  16. I didn’t comment when I first read this post, Laura, but I’ve come back to let you know you’ve been in my prayers. My mother died too soon (back in 1983) so I’ve had many years to miss her but also to be able to see her absence in relation to the years she was with us. There are many wonderful times to remember and be thankful for. I pray you’ll be blessed by good memories, too.

    • THanks so much Carol. Your prayers are certainly appreciated. Memories are all we ever have in the end and it helps in the healing process.


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