A couple of years back, I was struck by sorrow and celebrations's presence in the same time space, same breath even. How grieving and happiness could co-exist was baffling to me. I resisted it, felt that experiencing one in the other's presence was somehow disrespectful and took something away from the other. Yet, time and time again, it was so. They shared space.
As I began to accept that this was indeed how things went and how things could go, I saw it more and more. I also saw how the cohabitation of differing emotions and what seemed to be extreme experiences was actually a kindness, a necessary kindness, maybe more obviously in the face of sorrow, but even so, a kindness. One helps the other not to get stuck, to keep moving forward, moving through, and the other helps keep the right pace, not too rushed, enough of a slowing to enable presence and alignment of priorities.
I dubbed this co-existence with a phrase that has stayed with me, "happy and sad hold hands." These words gently remind me that it is okay for both to be together, not just side by side, but intrinsically and intentionally linked to help me through life's journey.