Saudade Happy Sad

It’s another lovely Prompt for the Promptless from Rarasaur, and another lovely word for which there is no exact translation into English.

Saudade is a Portuguese word that describes a deep emotional state of nostalgic longing for an absent something/someone that one loves. Moreover, it often carries a repressed knowledge that the object of longing will never return.

Saudade was once described as “the love that remains” after someone is gone. Saudade is the recollection of feelings, experiences, places or events that once brought excitement, pleasure, well-being, which now triggers the senses and makes one live again. It can be described as an emptiness, like someone (e.g., one’s children, parents, sibling, grandparents, friends, pets) or something (e.g., places, things one used to do in childhood, or other activities performed in the past) that should be there in a particular moment is missing, and the individual feels this absence. It brings sad and happy feelings all together, sadness for missing and happiness for having experienced the feeling.

Above text and lots more information at :

visiting aunt may 001

This fuzzy picture to me represents a saudade feeling or moment, because it elicits memories and emotions which are both happy and sad.

Let’s get the sad parts over with first.

1.  Mom and Dad have been gone for almost five years. They aren’t coming back, except in my head.  I miss them.

2.  I miss wearing pink pants.  Come on, you have to admit that pink pants and missing wearing them are both incredibly sad things.

3.  This was my Aunt May’s house.  She’s gone too.  And for all I know, so is her house.  Perhaps the world misses her decorating skills.

4.  I miss having dark brown hair.  But my old face and aging skin doesn’t.

And now for the happy stuff.

1.  I was going to crop off those crooked pictures at the top of this shot, but decided not to.  There’s a weird kind of symmetry going on here – three pictures, three pillows, three people.  One crazy couch from the eighties.  A happy little moment in time.

2.  I remember mom was always smiling and laughing.   Unless she was sleeping.  Although it’s possible she smiled and laughed in her sleep too.

3.  My dad was a handsome man his whole life.  He often put on a serious face for photographs.  But he was rarely serious.

4. There was a whole period of my life when my kids were growing up that flew by in the blink of an eye.  I don’t remember being unhappy, so I guess I wasn’t.

I don’t long to go back in time, although I’m glad to remember the happy times.  I don’t think remembering should make a person sad.  A little nostalgia is fine, and knowing what your journey was like to get to this point is great knowledge to have.  But it’s today that’s important.  The here and the now and the joy of this exact moment.  Being exactly who we are.  Making happy memories with the people we love.  The love we share now will be the love that remains tomorrow.

Life is short – I don’t want to waste a minute of it on emptiness and longing.

16 thoughts on “Saudade Happy Sad

  1. Pingback: Prompts for the Promptless – Ep. 10 – Saudade | rarasaur

  2. i loved this. but i love everything you write. this reminds me of a wonderful Babar pin I had as a girl. it was made of a new plastic type of clay and i loved it. my aunt gave it to me. and i wore it everywhere. and one day it was gone. i looked and looked and looked for it. i miss so much about that time; it was the beginning of a radical shift in my family’s story. it was the end of the One time and the beginning of the Other time.


    but you are correct: “Life is short – I don’t want to waste a minute of it on emptiness and longing.” i can’t. it’s hard to resist at times, but i can’t.


  3. Also loved this post and the great picture. I can see both of your parents in you. I’m sure your aunt worked very hard on those wonderful pillows.


  4. I would imagine this is also what m husband feels now that both his parents are gone. Mine are still around. They are a little younger than his parents were. This is a great way to remember them.


  5. Pingback: Saudade | Not the Family Business!

  6. Glad you didn’t crop the photo, Gran. The decorations gave me a giggle.
    I rarely time trip to the past, but it’s interesting what surfaces from the subconscioous whenever old friends and I discuss our remember whens’. Nice positives Gran and of course you can’t be you without the negatives. 🙂


    • Remember whens make the best discussions ever – especially when we remember completely different things! But you’re right about not cropping the photo, those decorations will now be unforgetable. 😀


  7. What a beautiful family, beautiful home, and beautiful memory. So much saudade here. I love your last 2 paragraphs, Grandmalin, but not as much as I love those pink pants. {{{hugs]}} Kozo


  8. Pingback: Saudade | Stuphblog

  9. Pingback: Grab some comfort food, we’re about to cry. | rarasaur

  10. Pingback: Prompts for the Promptless – Ep. 11 – Remake! | rarasaur

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