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Finding Gratitude in Grief

As I contemplate the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday, it’s been difficult to muster the same enthusiasm as in years past. While I know that the historical basis for this annual tradition is steeped in fallacy, it still feels good to rekindle the culture of gratitude, family, and connection.


My family typically celebrates with my two sisters, their adult kids and respective partners and children, and there is always a family friend or two that join us as well. We take turns hosting, but there is always some sort of disaster (plumbing issues, flat tires, broken windows) that hilariously punctuate the warm chaos of laughter, euchre, food, and football.


Thanksgiving has become my favorite day of the year over the past decade. In a busy world where we are all moving in different directions, this is a day where my family comes together to just be.


It feels like what my soul needs most right now is to hug my sisters, to cook for my family, to laugh with my nephews, to hear my kids playing with their cousins. But given the current circumstances, our Thanksgiving celebration this year will be limited to our own household. And I’m grieving the loss of this day I look forward to all year.


Finding gratitude for all that I do have has been a little harder for me than it usually is, and it’s getting easier as I allow myself to feel the sadness that comes with missing out on beloved holiday traditions. To feel the anger, frustration, fear, heaviness, and grief as I wonder how to navigate my own emotions, while also supporting my husband and children, in addition to keeping my business and purpose afloat.


Through allowing all of these feelings to surface, and by embracing them, and by continuing to breathe is how I’m finding that gratitude, joy, and lightness can have their own turn in my heart..


Today I’m grateful to be able to share more of my authentic self with my family, friends, and clients. I’m grateful for the extra long hugs of my son, the burgeoning independence of my daughter, and the support of my husband. I’m grateful to be sitting in my office, waiting for my first client of the day, and I’m grateful that I get to go home tonight to my family. I’m grateful to have the resources to keep coming back to myself, and to feel more whole than ever.


It’s my hope that you will give yourself grace and acknowledge however you are feeling in this moment.


In grief and gratitude,

Erica

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