Welcoming one of my online writing course students, who said it was fine to place her full name along with her essay here. Thank you, Charlotte, for sharing this with us.
I wish the world knew that grief is a living emotion from the heart and soul, not always limited to or reserved to draw upon only when we have lost someone to death. Grief and sorrow can be felt at times even when we have not lost someone we loved. These are tangible emotions that make up and create our life experiences just like fear, love, hope, joy and a host of others. Without having grief and sorrow we would never know joy. We would have nothing to compare it to. All of these emotions whether good or bad give our life events meaning and purpose.
One can have sorrow and experience grief over the loss of not being able to attain something such as not being able to have children. This can cause someone grief. The loss of a relationship or friendship or failed expectations can indeed cause one to suffer. The thought of what “could have been” in so many situations is one that people grieve over daily at times. And when someone trusts in something and lives their life according to an ideal and then they find out that it was a lie, this too, can cause grief.
Watching ones children suffer can cause sorrow and grief because we wonder if there was something we could have done to alleviate their suffering or ailments. Failure to do the right thing or live up to ones’ own or others expectations of us can leave us feeling sorrowful as well. I believe grief is a condition within the heart which helps us to define our very being. Pondering the thought makes me wonder: Can one really fully know great heights of joy without experiencing sorrow of equal depth? Is it truly possible to have one without the other?
The trade-off of a life lived without grief, sorrow or suffering would be a cold, apathetic existence void of all emotions which would be quite empty and pointless. It is far better to know grief in all its painful rawness and therefore receive its counterpart fullness of joy, than to not know either at all. Certainly, in a perfect world we would wish that no one would have to endure pain and grief. However, that not being the reality, it is comforting to know that God does send us comfort along the way to sustain us. As His word promises us in Psalm 30:5: "Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning."
~ by Charlotte Stevenson