Happy Grief Vs Traditional Grief

I haven’t posted anything in a while. I was hesitant for many reasons. My first reason was because I wrote a very long post about many truths about my personal relationship with Damian and some of my deep pain after his death. Its called “Guilt”. Well guilt was very hard to write and very hard to face so I never posted it. The next reason I halted my writing was because I debated between Happy Grief and the grief we fell quite often, what I like to call Traditional grief. I felt like everything I’m writing is the truth but its sad. I felt like how can I continue to honor Damian in such a sad way? I realized how special so many of my readers and followers and everyone else grieving were to me. I realized how powerful their stories are and I realized how much they move me. I felt after hearing so many stories and receiving so much love that I wanted to give back. I want to show others and learn in the process how to overcome grief in a happy way . Very happy. The last and final reason I stopped writing was because I am such a perfectionist and honestly I critique everything i do and I am never satisfied. Tonight I decided I don’t care about the damn punctuation and spelling I’m just going to type whats on my mind. Wait there are two other reasons I stopped writing, ummmm I’ve been extremely busy with 4 kids and I’m also a soccer coach and a soccer player. I have also been working on a project a search engine designed to find all your organic and all natural needs, that’s another story.

I have to thank my sister for giving me the urge to write tonight. Damian has been gone now almost 6 months. I guess everyone thinks I’m OK. Most days I truly feel like I don’t get time to cry. The crazy part about it all is I think about Damian 24 hours of the day. Everything I do reminds me of him. A song he dedicated to me plays over and over again in the car repeatedly. I always coincidentally look at the clock at 918 everyday, tying to decipher that. Its weird. Every place we go I’ve been there with Damian. I absolutely hate television because for some reason every scenario hurts my heart.

Anyway tonight my sister, hold on, Twin sister came to town after her graduation. She is now an official probation officer. Well our relationship has never been the best but we try to rebuild quite often. I’ll make it sweet and simple. After Damian’s death my family abandoned me because long story short we broke up and  I was dating someone else, they didn’t like him and believed he had something to do with Damian’s death. Well because they believed that It became all my fault for dating the guy.Well I was very alone and still am after his death because hate, anger and rumors and nonsense behavior is contagious and I have been treated very bad by most. I’m not upset anymore and that’s why I forgave my sister and try to rebuild again. I waited for her for hours tonight. She told me we were going to hang out. Well I don’t hangout much ever since Damian has been gone. I decided to hang out. Holidays feel the worse because Damian would be right with me.Ever  since his death, holidays hurt so i stay in the house. My sister decided to be with her boyfriend and stand me up. She never said anything and she is never there when I need her. It almost feels the same way about most. I just get tired of feeling up the same people with my sob stories. All my friends stood me up tonight and stopped answering their phones and texts. It probably wouldn’t even bother me if Damian was here. Everything bothers me and I don’t know how to deal sometimes. I just get angry.

Here is happy grief and which I usually have for a couple days and then I relapse and I continue to go through the same cycles often. Happy grief is your ability to accept and understand what has presented itself. Death. Happy grief is about understanding its a trans-formative change and their are many lessons to be learned. Happy Grief is about smiling and overcoming sadness with positive memories and understanding tears and sadness are OK and you can smile and cry. Its just what we have been taught by society. Happy grief is strictly about seeing the light amidst the dark. Happy grief is empowerment from loss and lack of sadness.

Why must we be sad. We force ourselves too. I was at the beach today I saw a friend of mine. I told her about Damian’s death. I said it lacking so much sadness that it may have felt weird to the other party because they expected extreme sadness. I reverted to a comment to let her know i’m still in pain.I realized that I don’t have to live up to the expectations of others.

Traditional grief says to be sad, cry, wear black, lack understanding. Typical and/or traditional grief says if you’re not sad something isn’t right.  I do not have to explain my sadness to every person who wonders.

I conclude by saying your grief,”Reaction to a trauma or loss” cant be controlled . Our responses are inevitable. Every form of grief is acceptable it’s about how we overcome and get through it. I hurt everyday and everyday is a struggle. I show happiness , I smile and laugh. in the depths of my heart there is still pain. We all choose to deal with loss in a way that works for our individual self.

Happy grief I must say feels so much better. I think that happy grief just lacks understanding by everyone around us. Stay strong. Embrace every emotion felt. Feel it and work through the bad ones and hold onto the good ones.

I will continue to grieve. I will continue to hurt. I will continue to overcome obstacles. I will continue to fight. I have my own experiences to work through and my job is not done and neither is yours.

My sister constantly reminds me that her boyfriend, and shall I add also Damian’s best friend is in so much pain and he is hurting crying and drinking his life away. She has never even bothered to ask how I am  doing. I decided i have to be strong , for my kids. My son always says ” Stop talking about daddy if its going to make you cry “. I cant let them see me hurt or the rest of the world. I guess my sister feels like I’m OK because I don’t show it like he does. She leaves me more alone than she can ever imagine. You should never have to explain pain or your responses to anyone.

I have to let go of wanting a shoulder to cry on. I have to let go of expecting help and compassion or even understanding . I have to understand that I can do it by myself if I have to.

No matter what the situation presents be prepared to fight.

Keep fighting.

Love Shannon




  1. , Grief can be a roller coaster. Up, down, happy, sad, laughing, crying. Hang on for the ride. Feel what you feel when you feel it. It’s all part of your process.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Glad to hear from you, have been thinking of you. You write with honesty and emotion about the personal nature of grief- there is no right or wrong way, it’s what helps you, and I hope that sharing in this way is beneficial x


  3. Dear Shannon,
    I just started to follow you and I love your open, honest writing style.
    In this post one of the key sentences for me is “I realized that I don’t have to live up to the expectations of others.”
    I had to learn that also, but it’s still difficult. I believe it’s hard, because it means we care, we aren’t indifferent towards other people in our live.
    Without being selfish, it’s OK to take care of your self.
    Fortunately I didn’t have experienced a loss like you have (although I’m still hurting inside of the loss of my lost pet-friend), but “I cant let them see me hurt or the rest of the world”….yes you can, yes you’re are allowed!
    Life isn’t about only happiness and it’s alright for your children to learn that, for the world to acknowledge that. Of course, you should find some balance again and a way to go on in a manner the grieve won’t overwhelm you.
    You’re not alone. There are more people out there, who can’t no longer relate to their family. Well, here in ‘blog-land’ there are so many great souls, willingly to listen to you, to help you, to guide you, to learn with you.
    Keep on writing, dear Shannon!
    Kind regards,
    Patty (a neighbor on this planet)

    Liked by 4 people

  4. Shannon, what an open, honest and raw outpouring of emotion. You are absolutely right about different kinds of grief, and others’ reactions to it. I have experienced the judgment of people thinking I’m not grieving in the “right” way, and it just plain hurts. I’m sorry you have to deal with feeling abandoned by your family during an already difficult time, but you do not have to do it by yourself. It seems you have an extended “family” here and many would be happy to be your shoulder. God bless, and keep writing as often as you can.


    • Thank you Cheri. I appreciate all the love and care because no matter what we face loss or no loss we are all on our personal journeys and could all use the love from one another.


  5. Yes, keep fighting darling. It gets harder before it gets easier. And from experience, writing about it helps. I’ve been posting more about love at the moment but I think I need to get back into writing about grief again, it really does help process everything. And please feel free to reach out if you need someone to talk to. Everyone does 🙂 x


  6. I am so sorry you are going through all of this. Please remember that six months is not a long time and this is all so fresh, new and raw for you. Twenty years ago I lost a baby girl, Tina. Nineteen and a half years ago I lost a baby boy, Ricky. I took it so hard that I was in and out of psychiatric hospitals for years. Two years ago, I lost my oldest son, John. He was 26. It is a very difficult journey but I have found you can have genuine happiness. I have genuine happiness because I know for a fact and have definite proof that they are always with me. I mean this in reality and with sincerity, Not as some kind of euphemism. I have found after my oldest son crossed over, that I lost many people in my life; however, the Universe brings new people into our life. The right people for this moment. There is always guilt and blame because the pain just causes that to come out in people. I know Damian would tell you to not feel guilty. That he is OK and everything is OK. As for your relationship with him, that is between you and Damian and no one else. My husband and I have been divorced for 16 years. We now live in separate homes a mile down the road from each other. Our relationship is stronger than when we were legally married.He is more my husband now than ever. It is only a piece of paper and what really counts is the deep relationship between the souls. We need to get to a point where what others think does not matter to us. This is difficult but we must do it for a happy life. Damian loves you and wants you and the children to be happy. It is obvious that he is sending you many signs. It is possibly to have genuine happiness after “loss”. Take it from this three time grieving mom!

    Liked by 1 person

    • My eyes filled up reading this. My heart goes out to you and I know you are a very strong person inside and out. This battle is one to be reckon with. Your words are so powerful and so true. Yes your children are with you truly they are and so is Damian. I working on reaching my highest self in order to connect with Damian. yes our relationship is our personal business and i refuse to be judged but as much as Im not scared of judgement sometimes I want to be truthful about my experiences without the world scrutinizing me.I don’t mind being open that’s who I am.”Deep relationship between the souls”.I agree. Thank you for typing this and sharing. It means more than you can imagine.Thank you for the strength you just gave me. My love and heart is with you on your journey as well!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. We will always be misunderstood by other people. Even people who love you and care about you will be unable to fully understand what you are going through or how you feel. Only God fully understands us.
    If you spend time communicating with God by prayer and reading the Bible you might find the relief you need from your grief.


  8. “I guess my sister feels like I’m OK because I don’t show it like he does. She leaves me more alone than she can ever imagine. You should never have to explain pain or your responses to anyone.”

    I just spent two weeks with a girlfriend who lost her husband of forty years about five years ago. We were working hard at getting the house they built together ready to go on the market. We live several states away from each other so we hadn’t been together since the funeral. Most of her girlfriends live much closer to her.
    My girlfriend told me that by two weeks after a death, just when all the paperwork needs to be done and emotions start to get really raw, everyone starts ignoring a widow. Even today she is angry about it; although the anger has cooled enough to allow her to keep her friends, who do come too help her deal with practical matters…. I realized it was the same after my sister’s suicide, and again after my brother’s death from AIDS. After about a week everyone wanted me to be myself again. But that was impossible. I was not only grieving, but my whole outlook on what I used to believe had changed!

    I think believe your sister is caught up in the drama of her boyfriend’s alcoholism and not simply responding to his grief. I believe she is addicted to that drama and there’s no way you can compete with that.


    • “the drama” That is so true I agree. You certainly know how I feel then. I start to realize that all this is just normal and I just have to deal.


  9. “Happy Grief” is an interesting concept – the name itself an oxymoron. Grief is a natural response to a trauma or tragic event or loss. So few of us know what to do with it, and that is when it becomes complicated. I am sorry you did not post the article on guilt, which so often happens as part of the grieving process. Families falling apart also happens. Everything you are experiencing is so real and so raw that it can only be inspirational to others. Write on. (When you have time, that is.)
    Your words hold the hearts of many who also grieve. Bless you

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I know I will say something… when the words come. Until then know that people will rarely respond in the way you imagine they should, they may not have the words either. Focus on love, with love you can take the same memory that saddens you, and turn it to joy. Do not bury your memories for they are your connection. Keep writing, for it is your way to process, and find your way to a new place. Take care!


  11. Brave & courageous blog post. Catharatic journaling.

    Grief has no time limit. It comes in an individualized package. One day you will be able to put it in a trunk and place it in the attic and allow it to collect dust.
    And on occassion you will wipe the dust off the trunk, open it and view the contents, revisiting your grief again. Then quietly close the trunk again and go on living.
    It will be a part of your life till you no longer open the trunk, or when you do, it no longer illicits the sadness that grief often carries.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I’m so sorry this is happening to you, but I believe that the Lord is using this pain from your family so you can see that He is with you always. He loves you, and He’s there to comfort you whenever you need it. He’ll be that shoulder that you can cry on, if you’ll let Him. He wants to heal your broken heart. This scripture came to me as I was reading your blog. Be blessed!! I’ll continue to lift you up in prayer.

    Psalms 27:10-14 says, “Even if my father and mother abandon me,
    the Lord will hold me close.
    Teach me how to live, O Lord.
    Lead me along the right path,
    for my enemies are waiting for me.
    Do not let me fall into their hands.
    For they accuse me of things I’ve never done;
    with every breath they threaten me with violence.
    Yet I am confident I will see the Lord’s goodness
    while I am here in the land of the living.
    Wait patiently for the Lord.
    Be brave and courageous.
    Yes, wait patiently for the Lord.


  13. Shannon, I can tell you that you’re on the right track of your griefing and no one can tell you that it is good or bad, happy or sad but you. From reading your blog I would say that you still are but that you seem to have it down so that your grief is somewhere that it is suppose tobe. Why you ask me? Well I am slowing becoming an expert on the subject of grief my husband Carl died 4 years ago on the 30th of May and believe me I have run the gambit of different emotions. From feeling the loss to thinking I was right there with him so I wouldn’t have to be alone but I’m not a chicken and ending it all would in the long run be the easy way out then my children would have to start dealing with what I have dealt with all this time and I’m not doing that to them. I finally got to do Carl’s finally request for him on Sunday right before the anniversary of his death and I feel like this big burden has been lifted from my shoulders (not my heart) because loving him was never a burden.
    Please keep checking my page for the next couple of days I have two but I’m writing this blog under my other site….today while cleaning the house, washing clothes, and doing a few other things I realized that while Carl was still with me I took being NORMAL for grant…not that I’m normal but I want to share with you what I found out when I discovered when I thought about.
    Shannon you are a wonderful woman and I’m so sorry that at this young age you are griefing but the best thing I can tell you is to take one day at a time, continue to write those feelings down, and most of all let the Lord help you because you would be surprised at how much he does when you aren’t looking or thinking about it. I will prayer that you continue has your going because I feel your doing okay. Even being mad helps so don’t feel you can’t be that way too. Hugs Kat ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Precious Shannon thanks for following me and you are in m y prayers during this time of grief and faith I will keep you in my prayers as I sing in the choir this am. I wrote a children’s picture book that relates to hope.. I was inspired by grieving children. It’s called The Tale of R-Qu and is on Amazon A 7 yr old urged me to have a web site so now I do http://www.thetaleofr-qu.com blessings to you and your loved ones.. Jeane


  15. Thanks for the follow and more especially, know that you are in my prayers during this challenging time of grief.. I am familiar with grief also the fruits of wading through dark waters to find the joy.. God bless you.. I know He does.. be patient with yourself! I wrote a children’s picture story, The Tale of R-Qu on Amazon ( http://www.thetaleofr-qu.com) about loss and hope based on much of my personal experience as well as years of being a hospice nurse… Hugs and prayers,Jeane

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Sorry you were being treated so inconsiderately and feeling so low. I hope things turn around slowly but surely.
    “I realized that I don’t have to live up to the expectations of others.” < Exactly. Not just in grief, but in all aspects of life. We should just be our vulnerable, true selves. Those that really care about you (and have the strength to show it) will appreciate you and love you for you.


  17. Happy grief, such a beautiful and true concept. Happy memories are what keep you going and so important to treasure them and not let others tint them. To go through such a thing and support your children is harder than any but they will appreciate all you do. I know personally 6 months flies by but also feels like yesterday. An open and honest piece that was beautifully written. Thank you x


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s