Grief and Gratitude

When putting these two words together – grief and gratitude – it seems like an oxymoron, doesn’t it? Yet, as I continue learning more about the grieving process, it’s a term I’ve often heard used. There is a season when grief and gratitude can begin to co-exist sometime down the road.

Gratitude during grief means choosing to celebrate the positive memories of a loved one’s life rather than focusing on the negative emotions of their loss.

Someone recently commented on a blog post I had written a couple of years ago, In part, it said:

“I know it’s easy to focus on the death of our loved ones. After all, we miss everything about them: their voice, laughter, touch, smile and most of all, their unique presence in our lives. Each person fills a unique role and it’s a place no one else can fill. We will never stop missing them, but for me it’s important that I continue to live. I’m not saying it’s easy, but our time here on this earth is not done. I want to honor my daughter in a positive way and am trusting God to show me what that looks like. I have other family members who love and need me. Just as we miss our loved one our family probably misses us, too because let’s face it – this grief journey has stolen moments, hours, days, months and for some even years of the lives we have.

I’ve made a commitment to myself that I will take each day and live it the best I can, for the Lord and for Melanie. I know she would not want me living a life steeped in overwhelming grief and heaviness. It doesn’t mean I won’t have moments of sadness, and it doesn’t mean I won’t miss her. I will miss her every single day of my life until I meet her again in heaven. But I’m choosing to live for her each day and instead of focusing on her death, I will focus on her life.”

These words are still true today. It’s so easy to remember the loss as it’s something I feel every day, but I’m continually working on the gratitude part of this journey. When experiencing anxiety or grief, we may have trouble remembering things to feel grateful for. But practicing gratitude can help deal with our emotions, improving our mental health.

Throughout all the ups and downs, I have discovered that sorrow is not a sin and that gratitude does not cancel out grief.

Living in grief and gratitude is not about being grateful when someone we love dies. The concept is more deeply rooted in being grateful for our time with our loved ones while being thankful for the memories that remain with us after their death.

How to be thankful during grief – is it possible? Maybe we just have to start with the elementary things:

• Remember how far you’ve come. Acknowledging small accomplishments can comfort us as we walk this grief journey.
• Start a gratitude journal. A gratitude journal is a valuable tool when getting into a positive mindset.
• Get outside. Go for a walk, go out into your backyard, and look up into the sky. See the natural beauty God has placed at our doorstep and simply breathe in.

When we begin to practice living in gratitude it allows us to begin healing from our pain and suffering and is a transformative way of dealing with loss. 

Published by pat

Mom. Wife. Honey. Jesus-Girl. Love to travel, cook, make beautiful things grow and spend time with family & friends.

2 thoughts on “Grief and Gratitude

  1. Thank you for sharing your experiences and your learnings to help so many find a path forward on this journey.

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