Feeling gratitude when you’re mourning a loss is especially challenging. Gratitude grieving is counter-intuitive, yet honors the ones who are gone. Two years ago, my parents died nine weeks apart. The amount of healing it takes to work through this level of grief can at times be overwhelming. During holidays it’s even more painful because of the joy I used to feel with my parents and now see others celebrating. Grieving and gratitude come together for me when I appreciate what is here for me right now.
What Is Gratitude Grieving
Struggling to stay present and aware of what’s here for me right now often trades places with feeling lost and alone. My tough exterior belies the weakness and lack of security that can isolate me from others, if I’m not careful. It’s a balancing act, and one that I’m tired of trying to equalize. It’s hard to be grateful when you’re sad as these two emotions are on opposite sides of the spectrum, yet gratitude grieving keeps you positive when you feel sad.
Gratitude Honors My Loved Ones
Let it be that my life honors them is the promise I made so that I could get out of the grief. I choose it every day. I choose to live in the present and in a way that honors how they lived their lives and it keeps me grateful for right now. It’s a simple phrase that doesn’t allow for worrying about what my life will be like in the future, instead it allows me to choose how I will live it. And it’s in the choosing that empowerment is found.
Remembering With Gratitude
My parents were extraordinary people. They provided me with not only a sense of limitless possibility, but also the ability to choose and create for myself. They fostered this remarkable gift through the example of how they lived their own lives. I’m committed to empowering others in a way that creates a ripple effect that not only honors them, but also my own path. You can too.