Fifteen months ago, I lost my wife of fifty-seven years to cancer. Although I’ve been a joy-filled person most of my life, I just can’t seem to feel joyful since her passing. Any ideas about where I can find it again?
Dear Still Sad,
I’m very sorry for your loss. I’m sure you feel that your whole life has been turned upside down after so many years of having a partner. The transition to a different life is difficult. Be gentle with yourself.
However, since you asked, here are four places you might look for joy:
- Check out who is in your corner. If you want to rediscover joy, it’s important to have supportive people around you. Friends and family who will not get on the “ain’t it awful” train but rather help you move in a positive direction.
- Reach out and help others. Those times when we are sad and need emotional support are the times when helping others will mean the most to us. It sounds counterintuitive but it works.
- Get rid of the “shoulds” in your life. Do what you want to do, be who you want to be. Stop comparing yourself to others. Stop beating yourself up. Be kind and gentle with yourself and you’ll be rewarded.
- Have an attitude of gratitude. You might feel less than grateful in the midst of your grief. However, finding something for which you can be grateful everyday will help turn your life around.
Because you’re seeking joy, I believe you will find it. Keep looking.