Dealing with Death- A Lesson in Happiness - BY Emily Cretella for MotherHustle
“I realized: happiness finds a way. It finds a way to break through even the worst of times; to remind us of the light. To remind us of why we’re living this crazy life to begin with.”

You know when you’ve had a stretch of bad-weather days, and it seems like the clouds will extend forever? Like you can’t even remember what it’s like to look up and see clear skies, or feel the warmth on your skin? And you begin to wonder: is it ever going to clear up? Is it going to stay like this forever?

And then, the sun peaks through.

It always happens. The skies never stay cloudy forever. No matter where you are, or what the situation, at some point, those tepid first rays will find a way to break through the denseness and find their way to your face.

That’s how I view happiness — as a mother, and as a business owner.

Things can and sometimes do stretch on bleakly for too long. But happiness is stronger. Happiness will always find an opening, and will always appear.

This has been especially true for me and my family this past month. We’ve had a hard stretch: the deaths of two beloved family members. One, my ailing 92-year-old grandfather, was somewhat expected (although, are these things ever really expected?). One — a vivacious and full-of-life aunt of my husband’s, in her 60s — was not.

Both were really, really sad. Really heavy. The skies were cloudy.

Yet at both funerals, in the depths of dealing with both situations, the sun peaked out. (Literally and figuratively, it so happens.) Even amongst the emotional heaviness of both situations, happiness still permeated.

We laughed. (Although, often with tears still stinging our eyes).

We smiled.

We hugged.

We held hands. 

We kissed cheeks. 

We comforted.

We reminisced. 

We stood together.

We reconnected with family we haven’t seen in years, telling stories long forgotten. We shared things that would never be shared on Instagram. We looked into eyes and listened to voices that have only been distant still shots on Facebook. We learned more about our lost loved ones than we’ve ever known.

We introduced our children, who squirmed in chairs and laughed at inappropriate times and ran in circles through saddened restaurants.

Like little rays of sunshine.

I realized: happiness finds a way. It finds a way to break through even the worst of times; to remind us of the light. To remind us of why we’re living this crazy life to begin with.

Perhaps, happiness is stronger than we think. It’s the baseline of life, not the anomaly. It’s where life tends to even out — and it’s therefore something we need to be open to, to embrace, even in the saddest of moments.

Happiness is life.

In motherhood, in business, in the day-to-day task-oriented droll of getting-it-done, happiness can seem like a far-off pleasure. But if we recognize that it’s always there, even when it’s buried … to me, that brings solace. It’s a reminder that we can always find happiness — sometimes we just have to look harder, to have patience, and to wait for those rays to shine through on their own.


Emily Cretella is the founder of MotherHustle.com, as well as the copywriting and content marketing firm CursiveContent.com, where she helps clients create + share stories their audiences love.

She adores being mom to her two little ladies and drinking obscene amounts of coffee from mugs with pithy sayings. Find her on Instagram, and learn more about ways you can collaborate with MotherHustle. 

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