A friend of mine her father just recently passed away. Watching her go through the process of knowing the day of his death was going to happen at any moment and then hearing the news that he had passed was nothing short of heart breaking. What I found interesting was the moment I received her news that her father had gone, I time travelled back in time to a place that represents some of the most painful memories that seem to feel burned into my soul. It was also in January when my Mother passed away when I was 7 years old. I read the email that was sent on my friends behalf and then looked out into my backyard at the snow covered grass and could feel the empty, excruciating pull of all the energy leaving my body when I first heard the news of my own Mother's death, now 27 years ago. The sight of her coffin leaving the doorway of the church, my own screams of sorrow piercing my own ears as well as, all those who attended the funeral that day came flooding back at an alarming pace. I literally was no longer in my kitchen, I was in the body of a hurt, scared little girl who didn't understand what she had done wrong and there was no way I would smile ever again (If you have read any of my previous blogs you can clearly see that I did learn to smile again and to appreciate the many precious moments we have). However, it isn't to say that I don't have times when my ugly cry is literally uglier than the dog labelled as ugliest dog in the world. I find it interesting that when I discuss happiness as a choice many people believe that must mean you can't cry, get angry or jealous. On the contrary when making the conscious choice that we want to live our lives choosing happy, it also means we must have the courage to allow ourselves to feel the sometimes unbearably painful moments that life will throw at us. When we take the time to feel we no longer are trapping the energy or the emotion in our bodies. This means we are not using up energy or our precious time thinking of ways to pretend we don't feel what we are thinking/feeling. I didn't used to live my life this way, I spent a significant portion of my life believing I should be over the hurt of my Mother's death by now. However, what I have learnt is when we take the time to release the pain, there is that period of time felt where time stands still, there is a sense of lightness and in that moment, should we choose, we can feel our two feet on the ground. We can allow the present moment back in. I am a huge fan of dance parties...when my mother's funeral was over my neighbours took me and two of my friends back to their house and they had a juke box in their basement. We danced and sang for what felt like hours and it also felt like magic. I've come to realize as I was dancing it didn't mean I wasn't still longing to hear my Mother's voice, to ask her if she could sing to me one more time...To this day what I would give to ask her a question. However, I did learn that amongst the hurt and the loss, love, connection, laughter and bliss are still there too. Hearing of my friends loss was again another reminder that the pain of grief really never does go away and that is ok. However, it also reminded me that I was standing in my kitchen, my dog was begging for food and once again my kids were having a dance party. I am so sad for my friend today and know that her life will be forever changed. Loss sucks, but life in itself does not. Here's to making space for our feelings and the many bumps that will be in the road so we can continue choosing happy.