Grief and Joy

Finding joy inside of grief seems like a paradox, but they have been described as two sides of the same coin.

A woman with shoulder-length graying hair wearing a green shirt stands in an art gallery surrounded by blown glass objects. Superimposed over the photo are the words: Grief and joy can coexist. The two don't cancel each other out.

One thing to note, however, is joy is not the same as happiness. Happiness happens to us, while joy lives within us.

Happiness is like rising bubbles—delightful and inevitably fleeting. Joy is the oxygen—ever present.

—Danielle LaPorte

Jenn Hepton and Nona Perdue share their insight on grief and joy:

Play Video placeholderJenn Hepton: Grief and Joy

Even though I may go back to work, or even though I may go to your wedding, or I may go to your baby shower, don't think I'm not grieving. Don't think I'm not thinking of my daughter.

Like, we may laugh, and I think society needs to know that you can hold grief and joy at the same time. So just because I'm ... it looks like I'm living my life again, doesn't mean I'm gonna have really bad days, or doesn't mean I'm not thinking of my daughter when I go get ice cream on a sunny day. That moment in time, I might be feeling joy, yes, but, don't think it's not with grief.

Play Video placeholderNona Perdue: Grief and Joy Can Coexist

The one thing that I've learned, um, that has, that has really helped me, uh, is that grief and joy can coexist.

Um, I had so many emotions going on. And um, about a month after Drew left, we had planned a trip with friends and and we went to a picnic one day where there was music, a wonderful band. And my husband and I danced. And it was the first time that I had danced, um, since losing Drew, it only been about a month. And, um, we were dancing and having fun and all of a sudden I started crying, and I was like, "Why am I crying?" And it was because I was missing Drew. And so in that moment though, I, grief and joy were both there. And you know, at first I felt guilty for having a good time. How can I have a good time? I just lost my son. But I realized that the two emotions can coexist.