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It’s entirely possible to find joy in the midst of grief after a miscarriage.  Society will have you believing you can’t, but I’m here to tell you differently.

Here is what society will have us believe:

  • It’s not possible to be joyful when you’re grieving
  • You have to let grief run it’s course before you can ever be happy again (if ever!)

And if you are able to find moments of joy while grieving,

  • You shouldn’t laugh or laugh too hard when you’re grieving
  • Showing too much joy when grieving is dishonouring your loss

I get it.  I had all these beliefs after my miscarriage. On my way home from the hospital after my first miscarriage, my husband suggested we stop for ice cream.  He teased me gently about knowing what’ll cheer me up.  And I felt a smile tugging at the corners of my lips, but I stifled it.  I was supposed to be sad after all.

Even when it was just my husband and I, I couldn’t give in to that desire to feel some pleasure.

But, have you ever been to a funeral, and the eulogist cracks a joke?  The congregation laughs, tentatively and politely, but it breaks the tension.

It’s a moment of shared joy and relief from all the sadness.

It’s impossible to be sad all the time.  It’s only because of sadness that we understand joy.  And it’s only because of moments of happiness, that we understand sadness.  It’s only because we’ve felt love that we understand grief.

We are intended to feel the full spectrum of emotion.  It’s the comparison of them that allows us to appreciate each one.

So instead, when you feel a positive emotion starting to warm you from the inside, allow it to spread instead of stifling it.

Another reason to set your emotion free, good or bad, is that stifling it has a physiological reaction in your body.  A detrimental one.  Emotions are meant to be felt and then released.

Instead, try these 4 tips for allowing joy to exist in the midst of grief:

1. First give yourself permission to smile, laugh, to experience joy.  Reshape your belief that you’re supposed to be sad all the time, or that it’s dishonouring your baby if you experience positive emotion. It’s okay to feel joy unapologetically.  It’s not up to anyone else to decide how you should be grieving so ignore what you tell yourself about what will others think. 

If you try to numb the negative emotions, it will also dim the positive ones.

You also have to allow yourself to feel all negative emotions.  If you try to numb the negative emotions, it will also dim the positive ones.  If you try to bury the negative ones, it doesn’t leave more space for positive ones. Instead, the positive ones are buried too. 

You won’t be able to feel true joy unless you allow your grief to also be released.

2. Get used to noticing pleasure.  Choose to experience the moments fully.  Small moments.

Get into nature.  There is so much joy inherent in nature.  Beauty brings joy.  Notice it.

3. Journal: what are the activities or things that bring you joy?

Write them all down.  Think about how you can add more of these to your life.  The things that bring you joy now, might be different than the things that brought you joy before.  Choose those that will you bring you joy in the present.

4. Visualize: recall all the moments of joy in your past. Choose one, close your eyes and remember it. Feel into it, fully.  Allow yourself to raise your vibrations by experiencing that sense of joy again.

When you incorporate joy into your life while grieving, it’s not going to make your path through grief shorter, but it will intersperse it with some breaks. Breaks that you need and deserve.

I’m curious to know, (comment below!) will you take action now that you know how to incorporate joy into your journey?  Or will you continue to just wait it out, hoping to feel better some day?

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References from this episode:

Waitlist for coaching program: Journey to Joy After a Miscarriage

Miscarriage – Love & Loss Facebook group

 

 

Sheri Johnson