Coping with Loss: Softening Grief with Gratitude
I initially jumped at the opportunity to write a gratitude post. The queen of silver linings shines bright within me and I thought it would be a quick, painless submission. Then, life happened. And then it continued to happen. Admittedly, the past month has been challenging to say the least. I lost my grandmother whom I was very close to and then a few weeks later, my mom’s father passed too. When it rains it pours, right? Well there I was, standing in probably one of the worst storms so far, without a metaphoric umbrella, continuing to remind myself that this too shall pass, and just like that, a new day broke through.
That’s the thing about grief. Often your time stands still, and before you know it it’s been three days since you’ve worn a bra and someone HAS to leave the house to get milk to accompany the gourmet cereal dinners you’ve been drowning yourself in. But someone has to get that milk and sometimes it has to be you. You get just enough energy to slick back your unwashed hair, throw on some mascara and suddenly, you realize the world kept spinning.
To say I totally understand the phases of grief is most certainly a lie. I just know mine, which are generally quick, sometimes angry, and unusually motivating. I thank my dad for this. This is where my gratitude steps in and politely asks my pity party to check itself at the door. You see, when the aforementioned storm cleared up, I realized how much time had passed whether I wanted it to or not. Mother Nature might be hard to predict, but she’s awfully consistent in her sun ups and sun downs.
I was taking these given days for granted, and to the queen of silver linings there is no bigger sin then wasting time. I’ve been given the time to do whatever I want — things I’ve been dreaming of, things I’ve been wishing I had more time for. And, just as importantly, I have time to detox the time stealers. The gift from my grief was a much needed wakeup call.
Sure, I lost a lot, but not forever. My loved ones just live somewhere different in my heart now and that’s something to be grateful for. My memories are abundant, animated, and etched permanently on my heart. My health is still generally impressive. The roof is still intact. And there’s plenty of cereal in the pantry for my next hibernation. To me, the best part of the whole process is returning to what fills my heart the most, because whether we like it or not, sometimes it’s all we’re left with when this is all said and done.