I’m leaning into my grief. Welcome to me trying to do that more often in this space. This is what I know and I am not one to sugarcoat it. A friend of mine recently lost her grandma too and it has changed the way we can talk to each other. Because you tiptoe around grief until it hits you. Then it’s like nothing. You don’t whisper the bad words anymore, you just say them in bold. Death, loss, I’m FREAKING sad.
At the beginning of 2021, I bought a faith-based year of gratitude journal. I also started it in February, so there’s that. The first prompt asked me what I was thankful for.
That was when I was angry. I wasn’t thankful for anything and God was cruel. I still have waves of this. Often.
I was angry because it’d been years and years since I had lost someone and never someone as close as my gran. I was angry that a stupid pandemic took her and took a full year of my twenties, the prime of my youth. I was angry because my coworker suddenly died with no warning and no reason and I stared at that empty desk every day thinking about it. I was angry because I wasn’t in grief counseling yet and no one understood exactly how I felt and no one could help.
Which brings us to Thanksgiving. Tomorrow.
I feel sad I can’t spend a meal with my grandma again. Holidays bring out grief in weird ways. I’ve missed a lot of Thanksgivings- I’ve moved away, I had the stomach flu one year and missed the meal and moved to New York one week later. So it’s not like it’s that special of a day for me, but it’s a day of being together and I want that and can’t have it.
But I’ve heard gratitude changes attitude. So, to pivot now- what am I thankful for?
Katherine, for grief counseling me and graduating me to a place where I’m not exploding. To the friends and family who have their own journeys of loss going through this with me. Husband for having to exist in a home with me those few months I was falling apart. The family I do get to spend tomorrow with. The people that have been part of my marriage for five years as I celebrate that on Friday. My cats.
I still have joy tattooed on my wrist. That’s been there. Maybe it’s been small. Maybe it’s been reflective. Maybe it’s been escaping into rereading Twilight and making my husband watch all the movies again. Thankful for those moments too.
Thankful that grief and joy can be carried at the same time and both can be felt deeply and fully.