When the Joy Outweighs the Sadness

May 16, 2018 | 17 Comments

I should have had this blog post all teed up for Mother’s Day but it was actually only after experiencing the day this year, that I could formulate my thoughts more coherently. You see, all the Mother’s Days that I’ve had since becoming a mother have been about grief. They’ve been about absence. And loss. I’ve expressed this loss a lot through this blog as you know – I can’t really read this old post without weeping a bit.

Anyway, it doesn’t matter how many times I told myself how lucky I was to have the life I had, or have the beautiful children I had. My feelings on and around the day were like one of those old fashioned brass scales, with the joy on one side and sadness on the other. The sadness was always heavier and it ALWAYS won. And then I read a tweet by KayliVee this Mother’s Day which said this:

And I thought: YES, that’s how I feel. Suddenly, when you least expect it, the day turns from a day of mourning to a day of celebration. You may still cry, and that’s okay. But they’re sort of tears of happysadness, that they were as wonderful as they were, and that they were YOUR mom, and instead of feeling intense feelings of anger, instead you just feel immense gratitude.

A few days ago I sat down with another mom from school, and she’s just experienced a rapid and traumatic loss of a parent. We spoke about how losing a parent becomes a kind of club, one you don’t want to belong to, but which only people who have experienced a similar loss can truly understand. We spoke about how vivid those final memories of them are, as their body begins to fail them, as they weaken, and how those memories are the rawest freshest ones, and how they haunt you.

What I told her is how powerful memory is, how it adapts and morphs. Those final moments will be with you, they will hurt immensely, but after years go by, they will fade into the recesses of your brain, and you will remember that parent you treasured as they were: so vital, happy and loving. And eventually the grief will make way for other emotions.

This Mother’s Day I looked around me, and saw all the mother figures that have played a bigger role in my life since my own mother died. I saw my mother-in-law with her zest for life, irrepressible sense of humour, her immense love for her grandchildren and for us. I saw my Dad’s new wife, her calm advice, her support when I had new babies, her praise and wisdom. I saw my mom’s sisters who take an active interest in my life. I saw my own sister, my sister-in-law and a sisterhood of old friends, some I’ve known since I was five. I saw new friends, most of whom I’ve met because we are mothers and our children share classrooms and playgrounds. And I thought, I may have lost a mother from this world, but I have gained an immeasurable amount of motherhood blessings in my life since then.

This Mother’s Day I held my two precious children so close and breathed in the smell of them (“Mom stop sniffing my hair!). Thought how lucky I was to have two healthy and happy babies, conceived so easily. These are all blessings I was aware of before, but on this day I simply felt that gratitude more keenly – there was so much joy.

And for the first time in eight years, I sat back and realised that the joyful side of the scale had won.

Happy (very late) Mother’s Day to you all.




  • Reply Megan May 16, 2018 at 8:40 pm

    Beautiful x

  • Reply Jo May 16, 2018 at 11:47 pm

    Wow … so beautifully written.

  • Reply June May 17, 2018 at 5:31 am

    Yes, very beautiful. I’m so glad your joy is winning, and all you’ve learnt through the hard times is helping others too.

  • Reply Sarah May 17, 2018 at 8:10 am

    Beautiful post x

  • Reply Vikki May 17, 2018 at 9:01 am

    So relevant, Thanks B!!

  • Reply bridgetmcnulty May 17, 2018 at 9:27 am

    This is so lovely, thank you for sharing.

  • Reply Nicky D May 17, 2018 at 9:39 am

    Beautiful B!! Lump in throat and tears in eyes xxxx

  • Reply loukatblack May 17, 2018 at 10:07 am

    What a LOVEly post. Special x

  • Reply Robyn May 17, 2018 at 10:28 am

    Loved this blog, thank you 🙂

  • Reply Cath May 17, 2018 at 11:15 am

    Beautifully written!

  • Reply stephanie videira May 17, 2018 at 11:56 am

    Just so beautiful, your mom would be so proud of u

  • Reply Nats May 17, 2018 at 12:00 pm

    Oooh. Tears here. So heartfelt and beautiful Bee. My heart is sore at our losses but I’m so glad the happiness is winning now. Sending love xxxx

  • Reply Robynne May 18, 2018 at 12:02 am

    Thank you for sharing B, x

  • Reply hopefulltreasures May 21, 2018 at 11:08 am

    This was beautiful! Megan xx

  • Reply Belinda Mountain May 21, 2018 at 7:43 pm

    Thank you everyone for your kind words. x

  • Reply robynrose May 23, 2018 at 10:29 am

    So beautiful B. Really touching to read. Love you.

  • Reply caleyjaderosenberg May 24, 2018 at 1:39 pm

    This is so beautiful and I’m so glad it was a happy day filled with joy!
    I haven’t lost my Mom but I don’t have a great relationship with my mom and this was my first Mother’s Day that I was sad and lonely and questioned so much… x

  • Let me know what you think!