Here we are just a couple of short weeks away from celebrating Thanksgiving. If you’re grieving you may be feeling anything but thankful. Holidays are hard. As we get together with family you may feel pressured to smile and act like everything is fine when your heart is actually broken.
My friends, this year let’s do something different. Let’s invite grief and gratitude to the table.
It’s taken me a few Thanksgivings to realize that I do not have to act a certain way or be someone I am not during the holidays. I mean no disrespect, but I am not going to paste on a fake smile to appease others. It’s disingenuous and I’d be denying my own feelings just to make those around me feel more comfortable.
Everyone will go through grief at some point in life. Grieving is normal. What I think is abnormal is acting as if my loved one isn’t on my heart, and this is just another happy holiday.
When our loved ones run ahead to heaven we will forever miss them. Yet, there is something about holidays, anniversaries and all those special days when the sadness increases exponentially.
One of the greatest lessons I’ve learned is that grief and gratitude can co-exist. I can have both joy and sorrow in my heart.
Instead of acting as if everything is perfect and I’m not thinking of Melanie, I’m going to invite both grief and gratitude to the Thanksgiving Day table. If there is a memory I want to share about a past Thanksgiving I will do so without shame, and I encourage you to the do the same. I hope our family and friends will feel comfortable mentioning their name. May they realize it doesn’t bring us sadness but instead brings us joy to know they have not been forgotten.
Grief and gratitude are welcome here. We may shed a tear one moment and have a burst of laughter the next. This is normal. This is grief.