Happy and Sad

This past weekend I took my kids to Lagoon. It was the first time we went as a family without Greg. Last time we went was just this past October. It wasn’t very long ago. Last year we got season passes for the first time, and we went to Lagoon together a lot. I’m grateful for the memories we were able to create there.

This year, the kids wanted to go the day Lagoon opened. They were so excited, and we were all happy to be doing something fun together. 

Our last trip to Lagoon last year.

Even though going to Lagoon was a happy and exciting occasion, I was surprised at how sad I was once we got there. In each line we stood in, I remembered standing there with Greg. I realized that wouldn’t happen again.  I remembered taking pictures on the rides. I thought about the special dates we took our kids on. We celebrated our last anniversary at Lagoon. There are so many memories, and I will always cherish them. I found myself in tears multiple times, and I was grateful that my sunglasses hid them from my kids, who didn’t seem phased by the experience. 

The kids and I have had a lot of firsts in the short time since Greg’s death. We have celebrated our first Christmas without him, New Years, two kids’ birthdays, Greg’s birthday, and Valentine’s Day. More special occasions are coming soon, and I both look forward to and dread each one. Each of them is supposed to be a happy occasion, but each also carries sadness now.

I imagine all of the future holidays and special events: baptisms, birthdays, vacations, Christmases, Halloween, school dances, graduations, weddings, grandchildren’s births, etc. These are all happy events, but they will be sad too. We will be sad that Greg isn’t here with us to celebrate. We will remember past happy occasions when he was with us, and that will be bittersweet. It seems unfair that every happy event that comes will likely be tinged with sadness. I think that’s just part of losing someone close to you. The sadness will always be there right along with the happiness. 

I have been thinking a lot about having both happy and sad feelings at the same time. Happiness and sadness are opposite emotions, but I think that they can complement each other.  You can’t feel happiness without knowing sadness, and vice versa. With all of the sadness we have felt recently, the happy things are more noticed. Lagoon was such a happy event, even though there was sadness there too. We continue to create new happy memories, even though it’s hard and sad sometimes. The sadness makes the happiness even more precious, and even though I don’t love being sad, maybe it’s not all bad that it creeps in more often.

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