Experiencing Sorrow and Joy

My father died two weeks ago. It wasn’t unexpected, although his final decline was rapid. On one hand, I’m glad of that because he didn’t suffer long. On the other hand, I feel like he slipped too quickly through my hands.

And … it’s only been just over six months since my mother died.

I realized that after she died, I was sad. But I was also very focused on my father. He took her death very hard, and I wanted to ease his grief. So, I didn’t take much time for my own.

Now, I don’t have him to focus on, so the grief feels doubled. For him and for her.

I want to rush through it. I want to get past the pain, to DO something. I feel enervated. I can’t sleep. I have too much energy that has no place to go. Yes, I have the business side of taking care of Dad’s death, but it’s not enough.

It’s not keeping the grief totally at bay, and it shouldn’t.

I’ve studied enough about grief in the last few years to know that I need to allow it, to feel it, but I’m not sure I know how.

Pick yourself up and move forward. That’s the usual message, isn’t it? Don’t wallow. Keep busy. Be productive. But that’s just rushing past something essential in our experience of life.

Sometimes, we need to sit there on the ground and cry for a while.

What’s even more confusing for me is that I have some really good things going on in my life too. (See the post-script below.) It almost feels wrong to share them. I almost feel like I shouldn’t. I shouldn’t be happy. I shouldn’t feel joy. It’s too soon after my father’s death.

However, life doesn’t always fit into neat little boxes and chapters. Chapters and seasons overlap and are intertwined. The good often comes with the bad and the sad.

 It doesn’t have to be grief OR joy. We can experience both at the same time.

I’m going to give myself space and permission to experience both in the coming weeks. There will be days when I can’t find the joy, and I will honor my grief. There will be days when the joy overwhelms. That’s okay. It’s more than okay. It’s living.

After all, my parents gave me life. It’s up to me to live it. What could honor them more?

Living fully means honoring our grief, celebrating our joy, and being present to every precious moment.

Today, I wish you the joy and the grief of living a full life.

With love and light,

P.S. –  A New Multi-Author book is coming! I’ve been accepted to write a chapter in a new multi-author book called The X-Factor: The Spiritual Secrets of Successful Executives and Entrepreneurs. This topic really speaks to my heart and the heart of my coaching business. It’s also at the heart of my novel, Ascending Ladders.

The X-Factor is expected to be released some time in September, so stay tuned for more details.

PS – If you’d like to write a chapter in this book, here’s the link to apply: https://kayleighokeefe.typeform.com/to/BYpLilNc

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