According to dictionary.com
Painful: is affected with, causing, or characterized by pain.
Joy: is a source or cause of keen pleasure or delight.
So what is painful joy? Well there is no definition at dictionary.com for painful joy. It isn’t something most people would associate together. In fact some would say it’s an oxymoron. Two contradictory terms appearing together. I have found that Painful joy is a new kind of emotion that comes into your life after a great loss. So I came up with my own definition.
Painful Joy: the source of causing pain and keen pleasure at the same time.
Painful Joy, the new emotion in my new normal. It is that moment when your eyes feel with tears of sorrow and glints of joy all at once. It comes on quickly, and can dimension just as rapidly.
Painful joy is when your four year old learns to add and subtract. He begins counting the members of the family, then says, “five people in our family, then Tristan died and that equals four of us in the house.”
Painful joy, When you see your 1 year old grab the teddy bear that was her brothers and hug it so tight. It should be her brother she is hugging, but instead, it’s a bear. The closes thing we have to his physical presence.
Painful joy, when your husband introduces your family and makes sure to mention all of your children, even the one in heaven. He is always included no matter the company.
Painful joy, the emotion I can detect in others. When their heart is hurting, but bursting with joy all at the same time.
Painful joy, when my sons name is mentioned. I have not forgotten he died, that is part of my reality every single moment. But to hear his name is a symphony to my soul.
I live every day in painful joy. I live most moments in painful joy. A loss parent, has not completely lost joy, it just looks different. It isn’t full joy, because a part is always missing. It is simply a painful joy.
Painful Joy: A source of causing pain and keen pleasure at the same time.