Relationship between Joy and Grief

Table of Content

The untimely demise of one of my favorite writers, and in deed one of America’s great writer, John Updike, a fortnight ago ( January 27, 2009) after a long battle with cancer, was an unpleasant and untimely surprise that left me in great pain. I was least aware that he had been battling a chronic disease. The characters he created had become so synonymous to his person. It will be hard imagining that he is no longer a sojourner with us through this life.

This untimely  loss reminded me of Chapman’s words of encouragement, that even though ‘joy is an energy that once released graces our lives to the end, grief lives in us as well’(Chapman, 2003 p, 70). The anguish that we often go through when we experience negative circumstances may form the foundations for developing our capacity to love unconditionally (Wolfet, 1992). Within us there may be an imperative to love and sacrifice ourselves for others, yet we may chose to subdue these feelings and instead respond to other different ones (Schaef,  2000).

I also felt uplifted by David White’s stirring words that appealed to my altruistic qualities. He posits that ‘inside everyone is a great shout of joy waiting to be born’ (Chapman, 2003 p, 70). These words helped lift my spirit on a Wednesday morning that seemed dull and uneventful. Through this grieving process, I have come to discover the truth in Chapman’s words that grief’s storm is but a temporary feeling and that some day, the sun is bound to shine again.


  1. Chapman, E. (2003). Radical Loving Care: Building the Healing Hospital in America.    New York. Baptist Healing Trust.
  2. Lewis, M., Jeannette, M., Jones, H. (2004). Handbook of Emotions. (2nd Ed). London.    Guilford Press.
  3. Schaef, A.W. (2000). Meditations for Living in Balance: Daily Solutions for People Who            Do Too Much. Harpersanfrancisco.
  4. Sharples, B. (2006).  Meditations and Relaxations in Plain English. London. Wisdom     Publications.


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Relationship between Joy and Grief. (2016, Nov 04). Retrieved from

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