The Bitter and the Sweet

In our life after loss, we have a balancing act to perform; how to live with the bitter and still experience the sweet. I’ve been reading through my pile of books, and a couple have hit me hard: A Grace Disguised by Jerry Sittser, and Bittersweet by Susan Cain. Both have given me a beautiful perspective on how we can navigate the tension between sorrow and joy.

The grief I feel is sweet as well as bitter. I still have a sorrowful soul, yet I wake up every morning joyful, eager for what the new day will bring….. What I once considered mutually exclusive- sorrow and joy pain and pleasure, death and life- have become parts of a greater whole. My soul has been stretched.

Jerry Sittser, A Grace Disguised

If we chose to live in the bitter, our lives become diminished. They shrink and we risk imploding. We deprive ourselves of joy and of a future that could contain happiness and new experiences. It is a life spent in a sentence of darkness. Yes, there is bitterness. There are times of brokenness, pain and a longing for what can never be again. But there can be more IF we chose to look for it.

When life is sweet, say thank you and celebrate. And when life is bitter, say thank you and grow.” 

Susan Cain, Bittersweet

The other side of bitter is sweet. Yes, your life can become sweet again because your loss stretched your soul and gave you a capacity for joy that is deeper. For me, Jasons loss became a call to have a life big enough for the both of us. That space carved by sorrow can hold joy, and I made the choice to allow it to fill me with so much joy that it overflows.

The supreme challenge to anyone facing catastrophic loss involves facing the darkness of the loss on one hand, and learning to live with renewed vitality and gratitude on the other.

Jerry Sitter

You can allow your loss to become a catalyst in your life. You can be transformed and become a better version of yourself because of your loss. Does it mean you can erase the loss? Never.

It means that you can navigate that tension with an awareness and respect for the terrible loss you have experienced, while reaching forward to a future that is filled with vitality and gratitude for life because


Julie Martella

Use your pain to create a new version of you. Use your pain to create something beautiful. Use your pain to transform how you move through the world. Learn to live in grace and love while never forgetting the brokenness. It is because of the bitter that we can fully experience the sweet.

Blessings friends,


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