A Happy Place to Heal

What is your happy place?


I always look forward to the summer. The heat and sunshine are healing for me. Nature is awakened around me, engaging every sense. Laying in the grass. Reading in the shade. The smell of flowers. The warmth of the afternoon sun. The taste of fruit, barbeque and cold drinks. The sound of bees buzzing. The vividness of greens and blues.


Some people have a location. For me, above all else the summer season is my happy place.  


It is a season that reminds me of many good times and happiness as my first rainbow baby was born at the summer solstice in 2012. When times are rough, I need the summer heat. After Zach died, Aaron, Hannah and I traveled to Hawaii. Our savings suffered – and our grief traveled along with us – but it was still an important time away.

happy place - find your happy place

I think location is a factor in healing. Whether that is the ability to escape for a vacation, or a change of homes or a new job. I know the counselors say don’t make any major life changes in the time after loss – BUT sometimes change is needed. I think everyone must make these decisions for themselves. It is obviously important not to jeopardise your family and your finances. It is wise not to make a decision in the sometimes disorienting intensity of sorrow, in the pain of the moment.


At the same time, I have found change an excellent aid to healing.


Our trip to Hawaii was two months after Zach died. In the icy cold of winter in Edmonton, I needed the tropical heat. At the time, I was surprised at the heartache I felt even there, but we made new memories and huddled together as a small grieving family.

happy place - hawaii

About six months after Zach died we sold our house and moved. Some may say it was impulsive, but everything about our home reminded us of our loss. We had the nursery all set up for Zach. It was waiting for him. We couldn’t take it down, and even when my mom offered, it was too hard. It was always a space meant for our first baby boy.


We had known Zachary would pass away. We got the news while we lived in that residence. The whole house reminded Aaron and I of the month and a half we spent driving to the hospital every day, coming home and weeping all night. It was the place we had to make tough medical decisions. It was the place we prayed and received no answers.

happy place - you are my happy place

Our new home provided a lovely distraction. We had to do some fixes as we bought a damaged foreclosure. Being preoccupied with paint colours and cabinet doors was a helpful shift from our sadness. Yes, renovation was a big part of my “Year of Distraction.”


Now our home is a haven. It is a place I feel happy and whole. Both of our rainbow babies were carried inside of me there and currently live within it. I am grateful for the change. It represented a new start for me and my family. Plus, it has a south facing backyard which lets in lots of sunshine.


I asked you what your happy place is. It can be an actual location, a city or a destination. It can be a season. It can be a home. Your happy place can even be a person or an activity. Whatever it is, nestle in close to your happy place after loss. Healing can be a long journey. Finding happiness however you can will help along the way.


Sending love always,


Alexis Marie Chute



1 Comment

  1. Loni Smith
    Jul 31, 2016

    Thoughtful and real, I appreciate you sharing. My happy place is the morning. I love the quiet and I love the possibility each day brings. This is the time I read, write and drink my coffee. It’s all good for my healing practices.

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