Creating Joy in the Midst of Pain

FEBRUARY 6, 2014  /  KATE KELTY  / 

Creating Joy in the Midst of Pain

February. This month of love and hearts is my hardest month of the year. It marks the anniversary of loss and for the past nine years has been accompanied by dread and doom. We lost our baby in February- sweet Anna, still-born at nine months.

In February, the Anna box comes out of the closet and I allow myself to look at the pictures that fill me with love and pain. The videos come out and I see the little one I wish I could reach through the screen to grab, hold and kiss again. February greets me with a sting that doesn’t seem to go away until spring. But February also brings me something else. February infiltrates our pain with the love and support of others. Perhaps this month that makes me feel more pain than any other also allows me to experience the most love. Ultimately in February I am blessed.

This year I happen to be expecting again. Baby number five. And even though I have had three healthy boys since the loss of our daughter, pregnancy is always a treacherous mountain for me to climb. So this year I have made a decision to insert intentional joy into the dread and pain of February. I have decided to extend some of the love and support we have received and to focus on giving comfort in the midst of the hardest 28 days of my year.

Mission “Give Love Back” I’m calling it and my kids are so excited. Every day of February we plan on blessing someone else in our life- people we appreciate, people who are hurting, people who have been forgotten and people we don’t even know. Every day of the month we will be offering love in some way: cards, cookies, books, songs, service and whatever other ideas spring up. We want to be a blessing instead of just waiting to be blessed.

This is not an effort to ignore the grief February will undoubtedly bring, but to focus our energy outward instead of getting lost in the inward.

Are you up for a mission? Who can you intentionally reach out to and love this February with words, kindness, yummy food and service? Who do you know that has possibly been forgotten? Who do you know that could be feeling particularly sad or lonely during this month which celebrates romance and togetherness? Who has suffered loss this year or in the past five years that you could reach out to? Who is in the hospital, on bed rest or suffering illness at home? Even the smallest gesture to remind someone that they are not forgotten and that they are loved can make an enormous difference. It has for me.

I am excited to face the difficulty and the pain of this month with an intentional heart of thanksgiving and love. I will be documenting our mission and sharing some deeper thoughts on being loved in the midst of suffering on my blog, The Grace To Grieve, if you’d like to follow along. To all of you who have blessed me over the years of my grief- thank you. Your love has made me rich.

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Adina & Maureen
Adina & Maureen

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