The Juxtaposition of Sadness and Joy

Lynn | American-Hero,Thoughts & Reflections | Thursday, June 25th, 2009

I’ve been often reminded recently that as a child of God, no one can take away my joy. There is solid foundation in this statement. From personal experience, I can tell you that this is true. We can be sad. We can be angry. We can be lonely, among a host of other emotions. But we own our joy because it is God-given.

Two years ago at this period of time between Rhys’ burial and the birth of our granddaughter, overwhelming sadness and unbelievable joy were intertwined in a tangled web in my mind; a web so complicated and counter intuitive that I only now realize the web is purposeful and ordered. The purpose and order are a mystery to me, as it is God’s perfect design, not my chaotic and ever-changing plan. But I do realize that sadness and joy can coexist.

Rhys’ death was so huge and so devastating that there really are no words to describe it. The death of a child is so unexpected, so unfair, so utterly wrong that one barely functions. The best I could do on some days was to reach out to the Lord and ask, “For today Lord, please let me just rest in Your arms.” As parents we had the life experience to draw on. But we were watching Stephanie, who was only just beginning to form her life experience as a wife and as a mother, become as the most delicate of glass, ready to shatter into a million pieces at a breath of wind. We had to be strong.

God is truly faithful at all times. He let me rest when I needed to but gave me strength when that was necessary. I learned to balance sadness and joy; the sadness of a life gone, the joy of a life beginning. I witnessed the joy of the birth of London Eevie and Stephanie’s joy at the sight of her. We laugh together at little quirks London has developed that remind us of Rhys. We cry that Rhys missed this part of life that he so joyfully anticipated.

The sadness is ever-present but tucked away in a place saved for quiet moments of reflection, away from the day-to-day tasks of living. The joy is also always present, for it is truly God-given. The sadness and joy are juxtaposed on a parallel path, no longer knotted and tangled, but moving together towards a destination determined by God before time. It is a destination known only by Him, but a destination that is perfect and true. It is a destination where we will be reunited with Rhys again. The journey is often sad for a moment but always joyful in the promise that the place and time of arrival are exact.

“The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord and He delights in his way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down. For the Lord upholds him with His hand. Psalm 37:23-24



Account Executive at Sika Sarnafil
Lynn is an accomplished writer and business professional with a BA in English, an MBA, and JD degrees from prestigious Universities. Lynn has worked in the construction industry for 35 years.

She is also the mother of an American Hero. Her only child, Sgt. Rhys W. Klasno was killed in action on "Mother's Day," 13 May 2007 in Haditha, Iraq. Read her American Hero Tribute Blog and check out her Roofing Solutions Wonderkid Blog

Latest posts by Lynn (see all)


  1. Wow Yes, Nobody can take away the joy that only Jesus can give! What a great desciption of how you felt and feel! God is truly FAITHFUL at all times!
    Love you,

    Comment by Patsy McKee — June 25, 2009 @ 6:20 pm

  2. This is so awesome Lynn. This hits exactly how it is. You are so great at writing how u feel and making totally understandable. I cannot do that at all. This post is so wonderful. It really even helped thoughts in my own head more clear. Everything on the website is so awesome. It is such an amazing tribute. And helps people gets a taste of who our Rhys really was 🙂
    thank you so much for the encouragement. We love you so much!

    Comment by Steph klasno — June 28, 2009 @ 8:03 am

  3. A beautiful tribute to a true American hero. Stand down soldier, your watch is over.
    Jeff “Twister” Brown – Patriot Guard Riders

    Comment by Jeff "Twister" Brown — June 29, 2009 @ 10:13 am

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