I heard the term “Happy Labor Day “ today. And I was struck by the word “Happy”. Happy … but is it? Aside from our own story of Labor Day heartache and loss, it is not “happy” for everyone. I am just one of MANY who find heartache on this day and entire weekend for that matter. Don’t get me wrong, we elect also to have joy. It’s true, heartache and joy can and DO co-exist. They don’t cancel each other out, as is stated in the book “It’s OK That You’re Not OK.” (Megan Devine…HIGHLY Recommend!)
I have a friend whose son died on Labor Day weekend five years prior to my son, Beau’s death. We worked together at the time. I remember wondering “How? How does she do it?” “How does she get out of bed?” Well, sadly, I found out. Like me, she did not have a choice. She immersed herself in her work to try to get back to a normal life. She planned a wedding for her daughter as did we. She carried on with grace and strength through it all. She loves her surviving children with all of her being, but NEVER forgets about her boy. In fact, she just sent me an article about child loss a couple of days ago. A beautiful article about lessons learned since the death of a child. It’s been NINE years for her! And nine years later she still finds comfort and strength in articles. Nine years later she has NOT gotten over it as one would a head cold. She never will. Like us, she’s made it through to today. To another Labor Day where joy and heartache coexist. Where “happy” is an all elusive term. Where common losses bind us together.
Where nine years later, she looks up and wonders “How”? “How has it been NINE years??” Likewise, I wonder “HOW has time simply and cruelly marched on since I’ve seen your beautiful face? Heard your young man voice? Hugged your physical form?” “How?”
So another Labor Day has come… and almost gone. Joy and Pain co-existed. But Happy … not sure about that one. If it WAS nothing but “happy” for you, rejoice. Give thanks.
Some of us just survive it the best we can. Because that’s all we can do.
Peace and Love to all of you!