There is nothing that rapes the soul more than death; the unraveling tapestry that has connected hearts and lives. It brings you to your knees in deep collapse. The weakness of your bones, your body and your heart renders you helpless and leaves you in the fetal position or face down in the earth. Initially, it takes everything from you. You are down to your last ounce of life, and yet, you don't want to die so you are left to navigate your painful existence.
I experienced all of this devastation with the loss of Chloe. It wasn't a one-time event, but something I replayed again and again. A river of tears encompassed me daily. How, then, does joy start edging its way in and begin to live in the same space as loss.
Chloe's sister, Hope, felt all the heartache of losing her sister; fear, anxiety, sadness and disorientation. And yet, in time pictures of her began depicting exuberant joy. Can loss look like this? Joy certainly did not replace the grief and loss, but still, it was ever present and growing inside of her. How does this transition happen? How have I moved into this place where I feel the river inside my soul begin flowing from its once stagnant flow?
There are a few reasons why joy returned to my life after loss:
All of this action was a kind of clearing process. Sudden death or trauma fills your body and emotions with truck-load of heavy energy. Only when it is cleared by responding honestly and authentically can you open up a space for joy to return. This process becomes more than just a clearing, but an entire soul-deepening and expansion. This leaves you with an even greater capacity for joy to fill you up. The last step is just to simply give it permission to inhabit your life.
Yes, loss can look like this.