Maintaining My Joy in the Face of Grief

Maintaining My Joy in the Face of Grief

Can you grieve while holding on to your joy? Do you believe that grief and joy can co-exist? I believe joy and grief can coexist – they don’t cancel each other out.

Today, Thursday, April 29th, marks one week since my family learned of the tragic, senseless killing of a dear cousin – a cousin who was a friend and was like a brother. What's even worse is the fact that his killer is still at large. For the past week, I have been dealing with the shock and sorrow my cousin’s untimely death while working my 9-5, being totally dedicated to nurturing my brand and keeping my normal routine.
When you lose people you love, it is quite heavy. But death only kills the body; it doesn’t end the relationship. For me, this notion helps to prepare me for life after loss. Most of the deaths I have experienced in my family were sudden deaths – either murder, vehicular accident or physical, like my Mom just up and out from suffering a heart attack. My most recent experience was a trifecta of sudden deaths in 2014, (my mother, my maternal aunt who was like a mother to me, and my nephew who I helped to raise), and so to not be crushed by the weight of my grief, I had to figure out a way to handle my grief because I didn’t want to be unhappy all the time. I do know that the ability to maintain my joy and experience happiness during difficult times requires a degree of intentionality. You don’t just wake up feeling full of joy when it feels like your world is falling apart (I know I don’t). Instead you have to make a conscious effort and commit to celebrate and enjoy the things that you love that will sustain you.

Here are a few tips on how I have managed to nurture my joy as I grieve:

I made a list of things that bring me the most pleasure

I still use my list from 2014, which I call my “My Rays of Sunshine” List. My list continues to bring me joy and protect my peace and sanity on some very difficult days. My list includes speak to God openly and honestly about my feelings; work in my garden; quiet time while enjoying a glass of my favorite wine; eat a really good piece of chocolate or a solo dance party where I turn the music up and dance like there’s no tomorrow. No matter what the situation, I would always find something to be joyful about – something that lifts my spirit.

Practice Gratitude

I know this may seem ridiculous considering you are dealing with grief, but I find that centering my thoughts on gratitude really uplifts my spirit.

Celebrate - Something, Anything, Everything

This is like a mantra for me. I have learned to celebrate everything – and even in my darkest moments I have learned that a simple “Thank you for your love Jesus…cheers” goes a far way.

And so, I will grieve for my dear cousin and all those who went before him, but I also choose to be happy and protect my happiness. I will focus on my happy memories of him: the memories of him being so protective of me when I was a little girl growing up in Jamaica, even though I was older than him; the memories of him sharing his money for lunch with me; the memories of us walking to school together; the memories of us cooking the heartiest Jamaican meal in my kitchen at home; the memories of our rambunctious laughs together.


NASTÉ exists to inspire and uplift and I do hope sharing my story will inspire you. I know that God has my back and He will guide me through this difficult period. I am hopeful that NASTÉ’s inspirations will be a source of light for me and for anyone who is dealing with a similar experience.

Sending you all LOVE & LIGHT...stay inspired.
xoxo

Back to blog

8 comments

GM! May God Bless You.. Jesus will always see us through. Oh yeah I Love you’re created spirit.

Tammie Banks

Love this and will certainly share. I have someone in my life that has been grieving for her husband who died suddenly..no warning, just dropped dead in the kitchen. Thank you.

Deborah J. Canty

Love this and will certainly share. I have someone in my life that has been grieving for her husband who died suddenly..no warning, just dropped dead in the kitchen. Thank you.

Deborah J. Canty

GM! May God Bless You.. Jesus will always see us through. Oh yeah I Love you’re created spirit.

Tammie Banks

Love this and will certainly share. I have someone in my life that has been grieving for her husband who died suddenly..no warning, just dropped dead in the kitchen. Thank you.

Deborah J. Canty

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.