When dealing with grief, there is this temptation to reinterpret our joyful moments from the past in a negative light, and to permanently shut the door on something that was once a source of joy to us. In today’s podcast, I talk about choosing to continue to remember the joyful moments of life for what they really were— a gift from the hand of God.
The infamous Dr. Seuss once said, “Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened.”
(*Disclaimer: Some say this quote is falsely attributed to Dr. Seuss, as there is no documented source to validate this quote as being correctly attributed to him. Whatever the case, I find this quote inspirational just the same.)
That’s how I’m choosing to process my past. As I announced in a recent podcast, my wife of almost 8 years recently left me and is wanting to get a divorce.
This past week I officially sold my marital home.
I gotta admit, I’ve cried a bit lately.
I cried over the loss of my marriage. I cried for the big and beautiful home we bought together, with the hopes we had for starting a family. I cry over all the hard work we put into the house, from the first paint brush we rolled when we moved in until the last repair we made to the home. I cried for all the times friends and family came into our home and celebrated life. I cried for all the food we made, all the holidays we decorated for. I cried over the beautiful trees throughout our neighborhood that made for some amazing walks. I cried over one of my dogs who had a love and hate relationship with our stairs.
But as much as I’ve cried over the loss of these things, I realize that these aren’t things to cry over. The memories and experiences were real. They were beautiful. They were a source of joy for me.
As much as I might cry over letting go of these things, I’m not going to block these memories from my mind, or try to reinterpret them as something other than what they were. There are some who would wish me to remember my marriage in a negative light. But I choose not to do such, because by and large, I believe my marriage had been a happy one.
And in my marriage were some of the best memories of my life. By the grace of God, I experienced more joy in a few years than some people experience in a lifetime. And for that, I am truly thankful to have had the opportunity to experience the good things I experienced.
There might be a door of pain that divides the past from the future. And it certainly feels I’ve slammed the door on my heart right now.
But in truth, I choose to remember these things and smile. I smile because they happened. The joy I experienced was REAL, and was a gift from the hand of God.
And although my marriage may be no more, and the wonderful home I lived in may now be owned by someone else, I choose to remember the good times for what they were— times of great joy that I am thankful to have been allowed to have. And in all these things was God.
Because of that, I will choose to continue to smile on the memories of my past, instead of shutting them out from my mind because of grief.
“…The Lord giveth, the Lord taketh away. Blessed be the name of the Lord.” ~ Job 1:21