My every breath has become integrated into a constant mixture of emotion: joy perpetually merged with the painful pangs of living with loss. These oxymoronic emotions of joy and sorrow have fused to become the general state of my existence…rarely is one present now without the other. Every spark of joy is coupled with the ache of my beloved’s absence from the picture, while every twinge of pain is coupled with joy and gratitude over the life that was and the legacy that remains.
I have discovered that occasions such as birthdays and Christmas seem to emphasize the bizarre blend of these seemingly divergent emotions, whereas all the richness of life and breath accentuated in times of celebration make the loss of such all the more pronounced.
I am learning to live in the mixture, allow myself to feel it all, to abide in this concoction of seemingly opposed emotions. And in doing so, engaging the whole assortment, I am experiencing the fullness of my own life in the midst.
Family celebrating Judson’s birthday at his gravesite.