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Advice from My Younger Self

"Keep on Smiling"

Two years ago I made this video looking back on what was then my hardest struggle - overcoming nerve damage in my neck and shoulder.

Now, in the midst of grieving the loss of our son Henry, I'm reminded of the advice I gave: Keep on Smiling.

I have to admit re-watching this video is not easy. My immediate thoughts are "Eff you young ignorant Allie. Easy for you to say you have no idea how hard things will get."

This bitterness is something I struggle with daily.

I hate the words I said. I hate my stupid smile. How could I tell myself to be happy when I am in such a dark place?

As the anger passes I'm reminded of a second video I posted just weeks after:

Our dark times do not discredit the good. The darkness makes the light shine even brighter.

Even though I'm counting more bad days than good, it doesn't mean the good doesn't matter. There isn't a big scale where the bad is outweighing the good, it's both and.

Joy and pain all mingled together.

Though my heart is raw and fleshy and so very sensitive, I can still smile and laugh and enjoy the good.

Just after we learned Henry was gone I grabbed my phone and read a section of one of my favorite books by C.S. Lewis:

"I do not think the forest would be so bright, nor the water so warm, nor love so sweet, if there were no danger in the lakes."

This life is full of ups and downs, dark and light, sadness, joy and pain. If there were no bad the good would have nothing to stand against. When you want a color to stand out you put it against its opposite on the color wheel (which is why I loved wearing yellow with purple hair).

While my former, ignorant self annoyingly says to keep on smiling, she's kinda right. There are good moments to be shared and brighter days ahead. I'm choosing and trying to remember the good and hold out for even better.

If you are struggling with a loss please know that you are not alone. The best is yet to come.

In Love and Light,


P.S. Good Times Bad Times is an excellent song by Led Zeppelin :)

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