On so many levels, through death there then follows life. It may not seem that way in the midst of one's grief however life always continues on both in the afterlife and here on Earth. Death changes you, it catapults you into a world you didn't know existed, and it tests you. Death is a world that changes the perspective of everything you have ever known, and shakes who you are to the very core. The loss of my dad is potentially the most devastating life event I have ever experienced. There are other devastating events however they are not near as final as death, and in each of those devastating events, my dad was there beside me to support me and carry me when I couldn't carry myself. Death is death, it is final, it is the end of one thing, life is no more in the physical sense of the word. I have reached a point where I feel comfortably admitting that my dad's death in some sense took the life out of me. art of that life that death robbed be of will never be the same. There is a lot I don't remember during the initial days and months following his Heavenly journey, but I do know that I have been hanging by a very thin thread for a very long time. It may not have been apparent to those around me - or maybe it was - but I am very good at bottling up and hiding how I feel and my anguish with a smile and reassurance that I am fine.
I started going to therapy a few months ago thinking that I was going to overcome the grief of the loss of my dad. That is the one and only reason I signed up for the deal. I was struggling and I knew I couldn't do it alone. The funny thing is I am not in therapy because of my dad, I am in therapy because of Charlotte. I have spent very little actual time talking about the death of my dad, and have come to the realization that the support that my dad gave me protected me in such a way that my string was more of a rope I was hanging from rather than the current thing, ragged thread. I have been grieving the loss of what could have been from the moment Charlotte was born. I was extra good at hiding it with my dad by my side. The realization of that has forced me to face the reality head on. It isn't pretty most of the time, nor is it fun, but I find myself leaving with a tiny flicker of life inside of me that over time has grown ever so slightly each week, and now feels like a flame that sometimes flows through my vessels.
In my grief I have found a source of life, all be it sometimes the flicker is dim, others it is bright, but life exists, and exists in me. The grief is not gone, it is not diminished, infant at times it is more apparent because I actually admit to it, but the grief instead of being centered on death is now filled in addition with life. Grief and life can co-exist. You don't have to have one without the other. I can grieve my dad, long ever so much for his physical presence, I can grieve for Charlotte that all she has gone through, all that may have or could have been, I can cry tears for both, and yet I can still breath and feel life.
This new understanding of life has rejuvenated me, has reminded me of our original mission for Charlotte - to give her the best life possible and to "Seek Joy" for her. Have not done a very good job in finding Joy in the simple, it wasn't that it wasn't there, because it always is present, I just was not able to see it. A simple conversation when Charlotte was very sick this spring in the hospital has started the wheels spinning getting me back on track with all that is Good in our life. Much of what has transpired has fallen into place in an almost too simplistic way that I have to believe a very special Angel in our lives had a hand in lining up what needed to be done. And so we are back on track with purposely focusing on Joy and surrounding Charlotte with as much Joy as we physically can.
With that I introduce you to our new venue for Charlotte's mission in life. I believe that she is here to change the world for the better, even if she changes one heart that is a victory, but I believe she is here to teach the world about Joy and how Joy is the seed of all happiness and that it feeds your soul with all good things. This website will be dedicated to Charlotte and her mission in life - Seizing Joy every second of every day. It will also be a space for me to write about our chaotic, messy, sometimes overwhelming, but overall happy and blessed life. It will be a place where we face what is real, admit that things aren't perfect, that life and feelings are messy, unlike snippets of life that invade social media. I will write from my heart, and hope that maybe it will touch someone who may be feeling the same way but be afraid to speak it because no one else speaks it. We will document Charlotte's journey through life, her tackling her Joy list, her ups and her downs. We are excited for what the future of this venue holds, as I have many ideas that will come with time and patience, but for now it will be our place to share our Joys amongst the trials and tribulations of life.
I will continue to update her caring bridge site at this time as I am not a hundred percent sure how I want to approach it, I have just felt for a long time that I wanted a space that I could also share my story and journey through this difficult and rewarding life, and it doesn't always seem like caring bridge is the right place to do that. I will likely update on both for now until I figure out which direction I would like to take.
So, we welcome you to our story, to Charlotte's story ultimately. It is a story that doesn't always fit perfectly into the glittery perfect pages of a scrapbook but it is her story, and we only get one change to write it. One chance to take life by the reins and Seize the Joy it brings head on and in doing so, we hope we help you learn to "Seize Your Joy".