I never realized before enduring my father's death, that it's okay to laugh, it's okay to smile, and it's okay to crack a joke, even as you are embracing a heartache. Before the unspeakable happened to my family, I imagined those who walked in my shoes before me as being sullen and sad every single second of their lives-until they reached that point where they could learn to live again.
Not every moment since my dad's passing has been full of sorrow, but when those moments hit, they are like a series of mini-earthquakes in the core of my being. They rock what is already soggy ground and cause me to rebuild again, from the ground up. Sometimes this happens innumerable times a day.
And how do I rebuild? I remind myself of how much I am loved and how many I have to love. And I smile. And I laugh. And I make corny, semi-witty jokes. Because that is what my father would have wanted us to do; keep our noses to the ground, push on, and live our lives in such a way that one day we will meet again; with the assurance and knowledge that those hands we loved so much will welcome us into heaven. When I imagine that moment, it makes me so happy.