There's a verse from the Bible...I think it's Psalms...that says something like, "Lord, teach me to know joy as deeply as sorrow."
The first time I prayed that verse I thought I had known all the sorrow one single soul should ever have to...that it would be a call to joy...boy was I wrong.
Sorrow comes first. As Kahlil Gibran said, "The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain." In other words, that empty chasm you think you feel when you're experiencing grief is real. Your insides are being hollowed out...into a vessel that will eventually contain something else. If you can suffer nobly, as they say, and wait patiently, joy will come and fill the parts of you that have been carved away.
But, these are just words when you're in the thick of it...when the fist of fate is wringing your heart dry.
Gracie brought me comfort during wretched times, she was a child to me when I was told I would have none and my daughter's other mother when I did, she was a protector, a confidante, she was mine, faithful and true. I miss her.
Her passing has caused me to reflect on how I spend my precious little time. Not sure I'm pleased with what I've done with it recently. Other people make a living telling us what we must do with each moment if we want to be a success. It's so easy to be drawn into the hype.
Gracie gently reminded me that each moment is, itself, an opportunity for my own version of success...turning my face to the sun, providing rest to a weary body, eating something delicious, really seeing what's right in front of me, spending my precious moments with the ones I love. And to persist in seeking that version until eventually a sorrow-sculpted vessel is filled with peace, contentment, and joy.