Finding Joy When It Doesn’t Feel Easy

So, I’ve decided to take BlogHer’s NaBloPoMo challenge for December and post every day. The theme this month is joy- fitting for the season, right? It just so happens that it is the word I have chosen as my mantra these last few months, in hopes of more than just getting through.

This used to be my favorite time of year. This year, it is (as you might expect) very hard. Kicking off my holiday shopping at a fundraiser a friend’s store was having for our school, I found myself wiping tears away so I could see the toys and games. Shopping for the girls and seeing things Josh would have wanted was incredibly painful.
Having Thanksgiving with family, a little extra space at the table, was pretty awful. Hearing holiday music and seeing festive lights on the drive home was even worse.

Here, in this bright and cheerful season, my heart is struggling to feel the joy that usually comes so easily. I find myself cringing when the neighbors switch on their lights and my body tenses when I hear my favorite Christmas songs. It seems impossible to celebrate anything without the boy who brought us so much joy.

And then I hear his sisters laughing. There can be joy with pain. And pain with joy, I guess. This is our journey…

Where do you find joy?


  1. Melissa, I wish I could fill your heart up with joy this season, but I know that time is needed. LOVE heals. Community heals. I hope this community and your blogging journey will infuse just a little more joy and a little less pain in your heart. Sending you lots of LOVE!

  2. I am sitting here with tears all over my face, chin, and shirt. I wish I were within hugging distance of you. I don’t know what to say. Where to find joy? I’ve been there. Not with a child of my own but with my brothers. The “firsts” are always difficult. Their birthdays. Christmas. With my brothers, it’s anything to do with the Oakland Raiders that is difficult. But it has been awhile and now, although difficult, those moments when I think of them…of who they were…of how I love them…I do smile…I do feel the joy of having had them for my brothers.

    It will take a long while. It won’t ever stop hurting. It will just hurt differently. The joy will return. The joy will be easier to find; easier to hang on to.

    Until then, know that this stranger on the left coast is thinking about you and your Josh and sending you love and peace and whatever joy you can find.

  3. Thank you, Corina. ❤

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