Monday, January 24, 2011

i am afraid of happiness

I am afraid to be happy.

When did I discover this?

Not all at once, that is for sure.

Little glimpses of happiness and then a cold wave of fear reveals this new phase of grief: a fear of joy, of normalcy, of  that life is beautiful feeling.

I wonder if this is normal.

I wonder if it's because we were so happy that particular morning that our little man met Jesus;

I remember. . . 


crazy life


packing for a wedding


coffee brewing


windows open wide

dancing in our kitchen to Lead Me  

crying on Daniel's shoulder;

Why are you crying?

"Just because God is so good to us. . ."

Fifteen minutes later that happy world shattered into a million fragmented pieces.

I never thought normal life would return.

I wondered if we'd even live.

I wondered if our family would shatter, too.

I didn't think I'd ever be able to laugh again.

I didn't think life would ever feel happy.

Now I see glimpses of that normalcy and I want it and yet it is so scary to me. 

It's not that I want to be sad.

It's not that I want to stay paralyzed by grief.

It's certainly not that I like the black hole!

I am afraid of being happy because I don't want to shatter again.

I think this on days like today, when the kids play with friends and school goes great and I get a sitter so I can steal a few moments with Daniel at work and then have a girls night out and laugh until we cry. . .

coming home tonight,

putting kids to bed,

planning meals for tomorrow,

stacking library books,

straightening the kitchen. . .

it's so normal. 

I loooooove normal.

I feel organized.

I start to turn on David Crowder's Oh, Happiness

and then. . .

I stop.

The last time I felt normal and busy and happy bad stuff happened.

And here is where I meet God, wrestling out these realities.

He is good.

He is kind.

He saw my son die.

He is faithful.

He is my Father.

He saw our world shatter.

He is all seeing.

He is all knowing.

He is always there.

There isn't a simple sweet ending to this today. . .

I am holding these truths in my heart and still holding His gifts to me in my hands. . . my children, my husband. . .

I don't have answers.

I am just learning, just finishing up kindergarten (or preschool?) in the school of loss and  grief and bad stuff.

It sounds so awfully inane and easy and simple. . .

let go

trust God

allow the joy when it comes peeking in. . .

just be happy.

But it's a huge huge HUGE step of faith for me.


  1. Just crying, and crying here. -Because I was so scared too. Scared to love my husband, cherish my children, and embrace the pieces of life that I had left.
    And then those pieces collided into more than JUST pieces. They became beautiful life again. It took way more faith than I ever thought I possessed to step into that beautiful life and become me. And for the record, I have never in my life known happiness like I know now.
    Again Hayley, you continue to just astound me at your ability to articulate this hard, hard stuff.
    Love you!

  2. So much truth Hayley. It is a huge step of faith for me as I wrestle with many many times a day. I'm still learning right beside you my sweet friend. Love to you today.

  3. mmmmm. no words. i remember. you're so trust filled girl!

  4. Wow, what a powerful post. Praying for you today...

  5. Your words are so poignant and descriptive and heart-felt! Sending hugs and prayers your way.

  6. Hailey,
    Hoping you find that happiness again.

  7. I can understand the feeling. I still remember how happy and normal our lives were when I found out my grandma died. I remember what we were having for breakfast even on that day, 15 years ago. I remember how my happiness seemed to shatter in an instant. And how I didn't think I'd ever be truly happy again. Healing came slowly; I think it helped that I was younger and hadn't experienced that kind of hurt and loss before (I did lose my father when I was only 2 but I was too young to fully understand).
    Praying for you!

  8. All that you wrote is the truth. And very often, I feel the same. I understand what you are going through and I have these phases ever since I lost my mother and then my grandfather. I don't know how to hold on, but then, feel I don't have an option other than that. So is life, I guess.

    Have faith and be yourself. You are an inspiration :)

  9. Wow. You just put into words something that I felt inside but never knew quite how to express. I remember so clearly... thank you for sharing. Thank you for trusting Him.