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How To Find Happiness When It Seems Like Your World Is Falling Apart

Credit Photo: Christian Rey

Credit Photo: Christian Rey

“There’s no life without humour. It can make the wonderful moments in life truly glorious, and it can make tragic moments bearable.”
…Rufus Wainwright

I’ve just received some tragic news this past week. My most favourite Aunt in the world has just been diagnosed with cancer. This has happened quite quickly and already she is in Palliative Care so it really is just a matter of time before she leaves this world.

So, in I go to visit her. A huge sadness enveloping me like a dark cloud. And, I trudge down the hallway psyching myself to put on a brave face when I see her…feeling, with every step I take, that sad, empty energy of those morbid hospital halls start to close in around me. Consume me.

But, then something magical happened…

As I approached her room, I saw this person that I thought I recognized but was not quite sure. She was doing the same thing. And, then we locked eyes and both my aunt and I broke into enormous smiles.

I was so happy to see her…that beautiful aunt of mine who commanded attention whenever she walked into a room. She was not only beautiful to look at, and she was definitely that…she had this charisma, this twinkle in her eye, this joy of life that emanated from her and made you just want to rub up against her so that maybe some of that pure joy might rub off onto you.

It was a bittersweet reunion. But, for some reason these words seemed to tumble out of my mouth before I could stop them.

“You’ll be seeing my sister soon.” I told her.

“Yes. I will.” She replied. “I will say hi to her for you.”

Then I looked at her and said “I want You to send me a message too.” Her heartfelt response was “I will do that. If I can.”

And, with that the conversation was over. I felt a profound sense of calm wash over me because I knew then that she was ready for the next part of her journey.

Her sons, my cousins came back into the room. We chatted of family things and it felt important to me to see her laugh once again. So I used my own children’s escapades as a leverage to do that. It worked. Both my cousin’s and my banter back and forth created this wonderful glee inside that gloomy hospital atmosphere. It felt like sunshine after a summer’s rain shower. And we laughed.

A while later, when I reached work and walked back into this tiny cubicle of an office I sit in every day…four walls, no windows, something caught my attention out of the corner of my eye. I looked up. I saw a butterfly fluttering from a bookshelf and landing on a basket in the room. I smiled.  “Hi Pam” I whispered.

My sister, you see had been with us all the while.

I also received this video about “Aunt Chippy” when I reached my office that day and because it made me laugh out loud, I thought I would share it with you too. This reminds me of my aunt only in that she loved to laugh. I hope you do too.

Have a lighthearted, hilarious, side-splitting, gut-busting, rib-tickling week.