Smile though your heart is aching, Smile even though it’s breaking
When there are clouds in the sky, you’ll get by, If you smile through your fear and sorrow…That’s the time you must keep on trying, Smile, what’s the use of crying? You’ll find that life is still worthwhile, If you just smile – Nat King Cole
I wanted to reach out to you with a letter of hope and comfort. It’s that time of the year where Father’s Day is creeping up on the calendar and I know it will difficult for you since you’ve experienced his loss. I know how you might feel right now all too well because I too grieve the loss of my father.
Perhaps it’s not been very long for you since he had to go. For me, it’s been four years, three months, and three days. Enough time to know that while I can’t physically remove your grief, I can give you something powerful…which is hope.
Hope that it will not always feel the way it does in this present moment. Hope that the sorrow will shift and that missing will one day also be expressed through smiling eyes as opposed to tearful ones. It doesn’t seem that way now I know.
But one day soon…
It’s hard to imagine but I assure you of this with the utmost sincerity. See, I’ve learned something that maybe you don’t know just yet:
Grieving isn’t saying goodbye, it’s the willingness to feel and move forward through the emotions that come up for us. It’s only the unwillingness or fear to feel uncomfortable emotions that leaves us stagnant.
BUT THAT’S NOT YOU!
You have strength and courage you know not of yet. It’s emerging through you and pushing you forward. You’re embodying it even though you don’t see it yet. Your heart isn’t closing up shop. On the contrary, it’s opening its doors even wider.
You’re going to be gentle with yourself and allow yourself to feel because you know that’s how healing occurs. Instead of resisting or distracting yourself from feeling the loss, you’ll allow any tears to pour out when they arise.
You’ll sit with the vacancy in your heart like you would with any old friend. Because this …THIS!… is the route to that smile that replaces the tears and it’s located along the road of remembrance.
It can be a winding, dirt road that makes you tired, thirsty for connection, and in need of a hot bath. But it will show you signs that light your way and give you messages of peace and comfort.
These may come in the form of words of wisdom he would said randomly popping up in your mind, recalling that silly over-used joke he loved, or the simple sound of his voice from a memory.
Oh but my dear friend, this is when the scenery changes! This is when the tides turn and the tears are less often and less intense.
The road of remembering is a road less traveled by for it takes one who is willing to make space for an inward journey toward healing. One who has the courage to feel and a willingness to heal instead of numbing discomfort through distraction.
AND THAT’S YOU MY FRIEND!
Thing is, I can’t tell you the distance of your road because it’s different and unique for every person. But I can guarantee you it will be worthwhile.
You see, the missing becomes more manageable and the ability to celebrate him becomes easier. The memories will flash upon that inward eye revealing how vibrant they remain in your heart. And through this, the magic happens. Your smile will shine forth because you realize he has left physically but he remains with you energetically. And that’s enough.