Grief to Gratitude

Amid grief, it is important to look for things to be grateful for. After losing three friends last year, and four this year (already), we are looking towards our arsenal of memories we are grateful to have. Memories of those friends. And there are so many. So many laughs. So many tears. And so many things to give thanks for.

There are the good-natured jokes people have among friends. The stories shared. The corny punch lines after you take the bait and listen to some long, drawn out set-up. And everyone groans collectively. Good times.

There are the serious, heart-revealing stories told in confidence which aren’t shared with many people. They entrusted you with their secrets. You treasured the secrets and stories. Trust is such an important gift to receive. It says more than many hundreds of words. You are forever the keeper of the secret.

There are thousands of everyday life memories. The trips to the lake or cabin; family trips to Disney World; graduations, weddings, baby showers, births, first steps, and broken hearts. Reading and board games, practical jokes and help to study, playing checkers and puzzle building. Monopoly games, Old Maid, War, Electronic Battleship, and my fave, the Game of Life. Think of all the interactions your family may have had doing those things. More treasures, for sure.

There are some people who have none of those memories. Their homes were not happy, their families were not functional. You can find something that was good. One really nice thing I remember was the Christmas Mom made all the Barbie clothes. She had a blast. I gave them to a friend for her daughter; I wish I still had them. But that’s ok. Someone got use from them. Grandma pitched in and knitted some outfits as well. They were awesome. I was a lucky girl that year. Mom always went all out for Christmas.

Sometimes, we have to dig. Sometimes, we have to add to the story to make it a good one for us. It’s ok. We have comfort in our memories, our recollections of treasured moments. Those are what warms us when we’re chilled to the bone with sadness and loss. We might not want to continue, because, “What’s the use?” Nothing could be further than the truth.

We need to continue living and adding to our own experiences, helping others have moments to draw upon when we are gone. That will broaden our wonderful memories and block out the bad ones. Be selective. It helps. We can put grief in its place, it takes time. Studying about it gave me an idea of what I was experiencing. I know what to do now and what not to do. I feel some comfort with this and use it. Thank you for reading today. Be honest with yourself if you are grieving. It helps a lot. Let’s each other tomorrow. Have a good evening.

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