Nitty Gritty Dirty Grief

Confusingly Okay

I have talked about the beauty and value of Hospice services and I have to say…..if you’re struggling with grief, loss or illness, check out Hospice, they really are wonderful, helpful people.

I saw my Hospice counselor today….

We hugged.

And then hugged again.

“How are you doing?” She asked.

“I am confusingly okay,” I responded. “Really, I keep thinking, I shouldn’t be walking. I shouldn’t be driving, I shouldn’t be smiling, laughing. I should be in a dark room, in dark clothes.”

“I should be inconsolable…..mourning the loss of my child. I keep waiting for the other shoe to drop, to become hysterical, incapacitated, hopelessly sad…but it hasn’t happened.”

“You said the same thing when Samantha was alive.” She said.


“When you first came in here. You said you were afraid that caring for a special needs child would find you joyless, sad, mourning for what should have been. You said you kept waiting for this to happen, to become hysterical, incapacitated….you didn’t understand how you still found joy.”

“Heather,” she said, “you still found joy…in spite of everything, you found joy.”

I played with my frayed Kleenex.

“It just doesn’t feel right to find it now….it surprises me when joy jumps out. It just keeps popping up; a hummingbird, a smell, a laugh with friends, a kiss, a sweet reminder of her. The hole in our life and the emptiness is palpable but somehow we still find little pockets of joy. It makes me confusingly okay.”

“Are you okay with the confusion?” She asked.

“I guess so.”

“Then embrace the joy.”

8 thoughts on “Confusingly Okay”

  1. Heather in the short time I have known you that is what always sick out the most that you always find joy. I hoped and prayed that you still would and am so happy to hear you say you still find it. Here's to Joy. Love you Heather.


  2. It's Samantha's continuous gift to you…a joy that can not leave, because you were privileged to be her mom, and the memories of her will always be joy in your life. thank you for sharing your journey…thank you got sharing your joy. Hugs to you!


  3. Thank you for always being so honest and real. You are amazing. It doesn't surprise me that that huge heart of yours insists on smiling from time to time


  4. Embracing joy and any other emotion that leaps out at you might just be the key to putting one foot in front of the next…Love to youAlissa


  5. This is just so beautiful, thank you for sharing yourself with us.What the hospice counselor said is what I first noticed about you. You were carrying Samantha into school each day, all the other kids were walking in. The other children were shouting and talking, Sam was quiet, yet you were smiling, you looked good, you were living and finding joy. I kept thinking, “I want what she has…my child is dealing with issues far more simple yet I can barely function.” You inspired me and you still do. Hugs!


  6. Thank you for continuing to open yourself up, for sharing this part of your journey, as well, for letting us come with you on it. May you continue to find pockets of joy, huge swaths of joy.


  7. One of Samantha's many gifts to us–helping us to find the joy in small things, in everyday life. I think confusingly OK describes a lot of us who truly cherished and loved Smooch.Love,Mom


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