Happiness (It Comes Back Around)

I appreciate the love and support that I received after my post on Monday. Writing has always been my way of releasing my feelings, and it felt good to just “let it out” for a moment.

One thing I was surprised about the grieving process is how cyclical it is. I guess I knew that one day I wouldn’t go from sadness to anger and never back to being sad, but actually experiencing the ups and downs were much more jarring than expected.

When I think about it, the grieving process is like that one episode of How I Met Your Mother when Ted reminisces about the road trip Marshall and he took in Marshall’s Fiero. Unfortunately (or fortunately), a tape is stuck in the tape deck so the only song that they can listen to is The Proclaimers‘ “I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles).” At first, you see them singing it loudly and happily like any catchy song, but after awhile it grows old (like any catchy song) and becomes annoying. At that point, Ted gets really irritated.

Ted: “I hate this song”
Marshall: “It’s OK, it comes back around.
Ted: What do you mean?”
Ted: Ooooh.
Marshall: Yeah, we totally nailed the ending.
Ted: That was probably our best one!

Ted and Marshall - 500 miles chorus

This scene always makes me laugh, and it really is a lot like this when grieving. You’re doing your best to get through the situation – and even catch yourself being happy here and there. Then out of the blue, grief hits you and you.can’t.take.it.any.more. until a friend reminds you that happiness will come back around. And it does. It really does.

I was walking my dogs one day, and for NO REASON AT ALL, I starting crying. I wasn’t thinking about anything other than whether Ms. Daisy Marie was going to poop before we made it back home and BOOM. Tears. Mascara-running-down-my-face tears.

Of course, at that moment, I heard someone behind me call my name. “Mae! Mae! MAE!” I turned to say a quick hello, hoping to walk away without them getting too close and seeing the tears slipping out from underneath my sunglasses. I guess I wasn’t fooling anyone though because they could tell from far away that something wasn’t right. When she got close enough to see I was crying, she asked if I was ok with the knowledge of what I was going through. We had shared our stories before, and she had also gone through something similar. She validated my feelings by reminding me that the tears were still OK. And that they were OK as long as it took to work things out in my heart and mind. She also reminded me that I would feel better one day. She was further along in the journey and knew. I may not be better anytime soon, but I would eventually get there.

When I returned home, I went upstairs to change my clothes and fell UP the steps. Instead of making me cry harder, I burst out in a hearty belly laugh. Sure, it was probably just another way of my body releasing stress, but I laughed! It showed me that I could laugh again and that I had that ability to experience joy (even if it came at the expense of bodily harm). That’s an important realization. One that does not always come immediately after tears, but trust me, if you’re going through the grieving process, it’s something you need to know. Happiness will appear again here and there until it’s more present in your life than your grief is.

Just remember when you think to yourself, “I hate this sadness,” that it’s OK.

Happiness comes back around.

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