Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The pursuit for 'Happiness!' x

What makes us happy? 

What are the things that create happiness…that make us high five, or smile, or leap out of bed in the morning…or say “Yes!!!!”....with a fist pump, or two?

I certainly know sadness through my journey of losing loved ones….and I know it’s that sadness has made me appreciate the little joys in life.  Nobody wants to 'choose' sad...it's more like 'sad' chooses you somedays....

It takes time, sometimes a  l o n g  time after a life altering event to change the way you look at things…to dissect what it is that makes you happy….to know…

And when you are in that place, that dark place, you. don't. ever. think. you'll. be. happy. again.... 

But shifting your focus, or trying to shift your focus from the bad bits that you can't change...to making a concious effort to see the good bits becomes easier as time marches forward...cos time doesn't wait for you...the sun rises in the morning and sets in the evening, thats a given, yes, life goes on regardless....

And for me, I can’t pin point when I started to see the world differently, I just know one day, it was like I’d been cracked open like Humpty Dumpty and suddenly I started to notice things...that I hadn't before.  I guess it's called healing....and it is a gift that grief gives, the only good gift!

This past week, these are a few things that have fed my happiness tank.

Last week we went to Target, Peter told Dempsey she could choose something from the toy aisle.  I was quite proud that my girl didn't choose a Littlest Pet Shop...she chose this brilliant red ball! 

It is only a plastic ball, but it's red and bouncy and bright and I've loved watching the joy Dempsey has got out of this ball.  She's taken it everywhere with her.

My new friend Rose, who I wrote about in an earlier blog invited me to go walking at our park...and to meet her daughter and baby grand daughter.

I feel so privileged that she's sharing her family. The more time I spend with her the more I love this new friendship, it makes me happy.

And of course the big red ball came with us....

I never got to see our other daughter run, so watching Dempsey sprint up the hill at the park, breathless and giggly, ball in hand, enjoying the day and Rose made my heart swell....something that money can't buy....

Noticing the beauty of this Mama turtle and her baby that glided peacefully in towards us reminds me that life is forever evolving and changing.  Even in Mother Nature and the animal world, there's beauty and something to smile about...that life really is a miracle......

This little guy is Kirby...he's Dempsey's latest obsession.  She sleeps with him, eats with him and takes him everywhere...along with her red ball! :) 

And it's funny, but for 3 days last week she left him on our stairs when she went to school. 

Every time I walked past him, to go to the washing machine, or the loo, or to leave the house...there was Kirby, smiling at me! 

Now he is only a toy....but by the end of the day, his smiling face had rubbed off on me... he stopped me in my tracks.

It was like Demps had left him there to remind me to :-)

And while out shopping with Dempsey, I saw little red flags put in my path, waving at me, to remind me to be happy. 

At Petco, this Happy Hut caught my eye.  Oh how I would've loved a happy hut a few years ago to escape to! :)

Even my bloody new shoe's bag had a smiley face plastered all over it.... 

For me, without the contrast or that dividing line grief created...the before and after...the happy and the sad, I wouldn't know that the 'little things' can make you happy.

That finding things that give me a surge of energy, that feeling that you can do anything…like you’ve just slipped into a Superman suit…that feeling that you can fly, is empowering, and helps supress any sadness.

Yes, finding what makes you happy or looking for it builds up strength for when the bad bits hit...it helps me bounce back. 

A bit like Dempsey's big red ball....................

ps; I'd love to hear the 'little things' that've made you happy this week x


  1. Going to yoga...leaving feeling refreshed.

    Seeing Macy in a bikini!

    Thinking about how wonderful my husband is and being grateful for our marriage.

    Seeing the joy on Graham's face when he splashes in the pool.

  2. Hi Candice! :)

    Loved reading what your morsels are! The thought of Miss Macy in a bikini made me smile!

    I'd love to give yoga a go..but the classes are always on a bit late here.

    Thanks for stopping by and giving me a small peek into what makes you happy!

    Diana x

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  4. My lovely daughter who, despite having the most terrible experience, is still hopeful and optimistic.
    Reading an upbeat blog post from another mother who has lost her child and recognising that there is a way to survive this.
    Thank you once again Diana

  5. Hi Fiona,

    Thank you for your comment. From one mum to another that does understand that the pain of losing your child is unbearable...you can learn to live with joy and meaning in your life once again...you can survive...it can take years to recover and I don't think that pain ever lessens, you just learn to cope.

    Sometimes we don't have a choice in saving our babes, but I've found for me, I do have a choice how I keep going...my beautiful mum instilled that in me.

    I know sometimes I think of Savannah and think she would be nothing but disappointed in me if I have this life I do and didnt make the best of every day.

    Sending a hug, your comment inspires me to keep writing...THANK YOU!

    Diana x

  6. We have had a good week staying with my husband's in-laws. Madeleine has been a delight, as usual - she is so very full of life, and has no idea that life without her sister is a huge sorrow for us. She brings such joy. She is turning into a proper madam - I love it!

    I have to ask Diana - do you think you appreciate Dempsey more - in the sense that it gives you more pleasure - than you would have taken if you hadn't had your losses. I wonder about it - I am torn. I think I was enraptured with my life as Catherine's mother - but I can't help but think I am braver now (I threw my job in to stay at home with Madeleine). She seems so endlessly precious to me now.

  7. Dear Susan,

    Madeleine, like Dempsey sounds like she keeps you going. Sometimes its a blessing that they are so young and don't understand the pain or what is going on. I'm so happy for you that she brings you so much joy.

    You can ask me anything Susan and I'll answer honestly, I'm here to help. For me, I do appreciate Dempsey more, and I also obsess over her safety and things happening to her which I TRY not affect her spirit or alter the life she would've had if I was a 'naive' mother...if you get that.

    In time, and I say that because your grief is still so fresh, you like me will have this overwhelming surge of noticing the tiniest things and taking joy in them...maybe you are already there. Like things Madeleine does now that makes you smile that before, maybe you didnt think were such 'big' things.

    You are certainly braver now, that is one gift that losing a child or someone brings, you find strength and also learn not to stress so much about the unimportant stuff.

    I remember when Savvy was so sick, it was so hard to go anywhere and just to pack her and her seat and Demps and wheelchair etc was such an effort and I remmeber thinking, "If I ever survive this, I'll never take getting in the car and just going somewhere for granted." But over time, I find that life gets back to normal and you forget that sort of stuff...so I find I check myself now when I whinge about the crappy things that don't matter.

    I think it's wonderful you've quit your job...in a few years your babe will be school and really, all they want is our time, and I've learnt you can get by without some of the 'stuff' that money buys that you 'thought' you needed. Good for you.

    I also think your Madeleine will grow up to be an amazing compassionate deep little girl when she learns how storng and courageous her mum is and learns about her sister...I know Dempsey has a deepness and compassion to her because of learning about Savannah that not a lot of kids her age have.

    Sending a hug, thanks for stopping by...the joy you wrote of has brought a smile today.
    with love
    Diana x