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When Do We Start Smiling Instead Of Crying?

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It will be two years this coming October since my dad passed. I don't cry as much as in the beginning, but when I do, the pain of missing and losing him is profound.

I so wished he were still here with us, but I know that is not possible. I have prayed for strength and I have received that. I am struggling to understand this new situation. I am supposed to accept it, I guess my mind accepts it but my heart cries for my father.

I have no words to describe how I feel, trying to express how I feel makes me feel drained, and yet I release all those emotions inside me by crying. I read the posts here, but have felt no energy to comment back, I at times feel I have not much new to say. I can't look at photos of my father because I feel all the raw emotions will come back, I am not looking to bury my pain because that doesn't help things.

Will ten years have to go by so I can smile and not cry when I think of my father? At times I smile but also other times I cry. "Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted" says the Word of God. I have been comforted, but yet as a human I ask...when do people get to the point of remembering their loved ones with joy and no sadness or crying? does anyone have the answer to this?

I'm just throwing my thoughts out there....thanks for listening.


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It has been three and a half years since i lost my mom and there are days, still, when i just break down and cry. But i do have good days, normal days i guess where i just go about my business living life without her. then i go to bed and my heart aches with missing her. It seems like it has been so long since she has been with me, that now i am used to not having her here, and i hate that feeling. Feels almost normal and i don't like it. I love her so very much, she was my life, my reason for being. But two days ago, i could not stop crying. I keep praying for a sign from her, but have not gotten any. My daughter dreams of her all the time. In the dreams, she knows her grandmother is dead and they talk about important things. I never, ever have those dreams and I wish i could. I feel robbed. Sometimes i think I will go crazy and other times things are ok. What you are feeling is normal and I do think the time will come for all of us to remember them with a smile, though I think there will always be a tear behind the smile. I don't know if this has helped you any, I hope so. We are all going through it together, just in different stages.

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Hello Daughter 2010 and Debfromlodi,

I am new to this board. So sorry for both your losses. My Mom passed away 7 weeks ago Wed. I was thinking this morning that 7 weeks ago today I was talking to her in the hospital. I still cannot believe it. I lost my Dad 27 years ago but I was only 13. I don't remember that grieving process too well. The loss of my Mother has really opened such a deep wound that I don't think will ever heal. I am told you will never get over it, you will just get used to it. My Mom and I had the kind of close relationship that I too am waiting for a sign from her. A dream, or just a feeling. She promised me she would. I love her so much and I am thankful that she knew this. I am comforted by my kids and my husband as I know how much she loved them. This grieving process is so strange as we have so many emotions. There is such a profound feeling of loss when our parents are gone. After all, they took care of us and no matter how old we are we still need that or at least I do. I pray for you both to find peace and comfort and be able to think of them and smile. I think tears will always be close for us but hopefully more manageable in time. Take care.

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Deb and Susan,

Thanks for responding. Your input does help. It's just that at times I feel like this shouldn't be my reality, but it is. I cried like a baby last night. I know my father is ok, but I guess I'm crying for me,because I keep thinking if I could hug my father one more time, or if I could hear his voice one more time...all of this is difficult.

I have my ok days, but others I feel like kicking and screaming.

My brother dreams with my father a lot. In a way I believe it's because dad felt he needed to guide him from wherever he is. I have asked to see my father in dreams, but so far can't remember dreaming of him. The one time I dreamed of him was one week after he passed.

A guy at work lost his wife to cancer two weeks ago. They were a young couple. He seemed to be coping ok for only two weeks, but I also know that I know nothing about how he feels coming home to an empty house. Grief and loss affect us in many many ways. It's true, we go through different stages. The world out there may have forgotten about my father, but I haven't. I will never forget.

The other thing is my bf tries to understand my grief, but he really can't. He hasn't lost his parents and at times I can tell he is uncomfortable with me getting teary eyed. He has tried to be understanding and I can't ask him for more than what he can give.I have expressed to him that he doesn't need to fix a problem that can't be fixed. Listening to me is enough for me to know that he is there for me. So because of that, this is the forum where I fully release my emotions and thoughts. I talk to mom too about dad and sometimes we laugh remembering good moments, but we also cry. It is amazing that human beings can experience such different emotions in one day, let alone one hour.

I would have given my life for my father, I would have traded places with him. I miss him so much.

Nothing I say or do will bring him back here, in good health, and it hurts.

One day at a time....



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hi Daughter2010,

As with so many of your posts, your words could have come from me. 2 years in October.....WOW, that stood out so much, for me it will be 2 years in December......I can hardly believe I've been on this site for 1.5 yrs, it feels like only recently so many of us "met" yet a lifetime since life was normal.

Like you I don't cry as much on the outside anyways, I think inside my heart cries all the time. I still have times where I have to tell myself this is real and there is no waking up from the nightmare, sometimes I really do feel it's so surreal and I will wake up from it. I simply have days where it doesn't completely bring me to my knees, not sure I would call those "good" days, they are just not as bad as the times when I feel I can't do this.

I feel out of words too much of the time, as you say nothing new to say, sometimes I feel like such a broken record, when close friends ask how I'm doing I tend to just say still the same and nothing more.

I also still cannot look at photos, I want one day to be able to put them all on a digital frame with some of Dad's fav music playing over them. Each time a birthday or Christmas approaches I think of doing it but the harsh reality is I can't even start looking at them, taking them all out to get them scanned. I guess I still don't want it to be real.

My Mom & I don't sit and chat about Dad, neither of us can do that. Once in a blue moon I will say something off the cuff about Dad, something he did or liked but it tugs at my heart so much when I do because it feels so wrong that it's all in the past tense now.

I don't have any answers, I can't imagine ever thinking of my Dad truly smiling because I will miss him and ache for him as long as I walk this earth.

I've had a few dreams in the last month or so but nothing that comforts me, I do remember in the dreams this elated feeling of finally seeing him again FINALLY, like when you lose something precious, keep looking for it, you think it's gone and then you finally find it, but when I wake it's like someone ripping out my heart again. The dreams haven't been like visits or anything, in fact they've been odd ones where he's been sick, terminally ill, or I know what's going to happen which is odd because we lost him suddenly. I beg him every night to just come to me properly but nothing yet.

I'm glad your boyfriend is there for you as much as he can be. I think one of the most important things for others is to know they can't fix this for us and for me I know I don't want people trying to fix it and when people truly know that and just lend a ear that's all we can ask for.

sending you a big huge (((Daddy girl hug))),



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Hello all,

I am still trying to figure this board out! I have to remember the topic I posted on and look it up. Maybe there is an easier way? Anyway, I woke up grouchy and mean today. I am feeling how unfair it is that my parents are gone, my Grandparents are gone, and I only have one Aunt left. All of my friends have parents that are alive and doting Grandparents to their kids. My kids loved my Mom so much. They are only 9, 6 and 3 but talk about her often. My Mother in law, their

"other" Grandma lives 2 hours away but it might as well be 20 hours away. She doesn't make any effort to see them. Only around holidays. I am angry becuase my Mom was a much better person and she suffered and died. She gave 100% of herself to everyone and look what she got in return. Wow, like we have all said the range of emotions are so extreme!!! I feel bad for my thoughts, I am not wishing my Mother in law harm but people like her live on being selfish, bad mothers and Grandmothers. Thank you all for listening. Its nice that we can share these odd feelings because if I said these things out loud poeple may think I'm a beast ;0 Really missing my Mom today. Her smile and her kind re-assuring words when I am upset would be welcome today. I am normally a kind soft hearted person but today I fear I may have sprouted horns. Thank you all!

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Susan, don't feel bad about anything you are feeling. Expect ups and downs for a long time. I get to feeling like that sometimes too and it is ok. It is a part of the healing process. You are actually facing her death when you are going through these different emotions. Anger, rage, jealousy, sorrow, and tons more i am sure. Just go with it as best you can and don't be too hard on yourself. Prayers help too. I talk to my mom every single day and night.

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Daughter 2010 I feel the same way. Everyone says that you should be able to talk about him, and "it will get easier" but no I can never think of him and be happy, its been a year and a half and if I ever think of him its overwhelming sadness because it was so unexpected and too soon, I also wonder if in 10 years time will I ever be able to think of him and smile? What a horrible thing, instead of honouring his memory we have to avoid thinking about it to avoid feeling sadness

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Hi All,

It has been six years for me for my mom and yes I have my good days and my bad ones.. I really miss her somedays and other days it is not so bad... With my dad it will be six years on the 25th of this month and no i do not get sad at all anymore with my dad and I think this is mostly because of the abuse he did to me... Maybe one day i will truly miss him... Shelley

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  • 1 month later...


Though you posted this topic 2 months ago, I have been stuck thinking about it. Stuck because I had an answer. And did not post it.

When do we start smiling instead of crying?

Well, like you, I'm 2 years into the loss of a parent. The pain, as we all know, is overwhelming at first. With the passage of time some of the pain diminishes, sure. But it doesn't go away. We, I, you, will always feel the pain of having lost a parent.

My answer is that there is more to grief than just raw pain. Along with my pain came a flood of recollections of my Mother. Of all the things we'd done together, of the places we'd been, of the things that were said. I began to realize these recollections were not something to block out like they were only pain. There was beauty in these memories. There was my Mom in these memories. Her character, her thinking, her emotions, her dignity, and so many other things. And these memories kept flooding through me as I processed through my grief.

All the good, all the caring, all the integrity of my Mom still exists within my memory. That's her legacy. It is precious to me, as is the legacy of your father to you. Much of who we are comes directly from our parents, and though they may have passed on, we still look to them for guidance. I am compelled to preserve the legacy of my mother; it brings meaning and positive emotion into my life. My mother is still is a force of good! And I will honor her memory in any way that I can.

Now, the dilemma is how to balance the horrible pain of loss against the incredible good that was our parent. My answer is that we have to open ourselves up to a little pain, for example, just to look at their photos. There is a reservoir of good in our parents that we can tap into. Somehow we have to get past the pain of loss, and recover good feeling when we remember our parent. How to do that?

Well.... For my mother's memorial service I had to go through our family's entire photo archive, in order to put together several poster-sized collages of my mother; the collages were displayed at her memorial service. After the memorial service I took possession of one of the poster-sized photo collages. It got stuffed away for months, but at about 6 months I felt brave and put it up on my kitchen wall. For many weeks it was not easy walking past the photo-collage, it nagged me, and I had to summon courage to look honestly at the various photos. And then there would be occasions when I'd find something new in one of the photos, or my Mom just reached out and looked at me! That was the beginning of positive emotion. Now, 2 years on, it's not so hard to face those photos.

Other things helped. I was so distraught in the first months, that I was compelled to do something to honor the legacy of my mother. So I put together a cook book of all her recipes, over 300 altogether. I printed out about 50 copies, and now all my family and relatives have access to my Mom's recipies. And she was a good cook!

I did other 'legacy-work', if I can coin that term. I ended up with all of the family photos, and there are many thousand. Not just of my mother's generation, but of earlier generations of my family going back to about 1900. So I got together with my oldest relatives, and they identified all the people and all the places in the old photos. I learned so much family history! And I put together a family history on compact disc, with over 400 photos and many text documents. It really helped foster the process of healing that was going on within me.

That's my story of healing through grief. I do not believe at all that grief is only about pain. We can also discover the powerful message of our parents legacy; that will give you strength, if you only seek it out.

I suggest that you can dig out a single photo of your Dad. Pick and choose the one you want. Find a good place to put it. And then each day, you will have to face a bit of pain, but also you will begin to gain strength, because that photo communicates the legacy of your parent, which is a powerful force of good.

Whew. I'm glad I got all that out; it had been stuck inside me for 2 months.

Ron B.

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Well it is Thanksgiving in Canada and yes another special day, Last year I spent it all alone because the family just left me out of it all.. This year it looks like I will be doing the same thing because the family just does not want to bother with me anymore.. I miss my mom so very bad right now and I also miss my beloved Chelsea...My therapist wants me to visit Chelsea's grave but I just can not do this right now I miss her so very much... It has been three months and it seems just like it happen yesterday... This is the 11th Thanksgiving without my parents and it is not getting any easier... Shelley

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