Grief & Gratitude: The Journey to Healing

When you lose someone close to you, it can be difficult to see light at the end of the tunnel. People may try to comfort you by stating the positives such as “they’re in a better place now,” or “think of all the wonderful memories you got to share with them.” While their intentions might be good, you may not be ready for everyone to try to lift you up while you’re still down. Your feelings of grief are completely normal, and everyone has their own ways of getting through.

Turning Your Grief Into Thankfulness

If you’re experiencing grief around the holidays, a time especially known for being grateful and thankful, it can be difficult to find your gratitude for anything. So, how can you manage to still be grateful for the blessings in your life, even when you’re in a dark place? We have some tips below to help your journey to healing. 

Focus on the Time You Did Have

It’s normal when someone passes to automatically think of all the life events they’ll miss. Whether it be witnessing your wedding, being a part of your child’s life, a milestone they were soon to accomplish, etc. No matter how old a person is when they pass, it still seems as if there wasn’t enough time. Rather than focusing on the things they won’t be there for, try to spend time thinking about the good memories you were able to share with them. Expressing gratitude for the time you were able to share together and reminiscing on the good times is an important part of the healing process.

Lean on Your Loved Ones

While grieving can make people feel so alone, it’s important to remember that all of your loved ones around you are experiencing the same thing. Even if you’re all moving at different paces, they’re all experiencing the stages of grief too. You can turn your grief into gratitude by focusing on how lucky you are to be surrounded by such love, and that you’re all bonding over your experiences and love for your friend or family member that has passed.

Keep a Grateful Journal

In a time that is so difficult, it can be easy to become overwhelmed by your feelings of sadness and grief. While much of your days in the coming days and months will include these feelings, it’s important to remember that there is still things in your life to be grateful for, and realize that you will move past this. A good way to start is by keeping a “grateful journal.” Start or end each day by listing 1 or a few things that you’re grateful for. Whether you write about memories you’re grateful for with your loved one, grateful for your health, a good day you had, etc. Try to find at least one thing you’re grateful for each day.

Sadness & Happiness Can Coexist

Lastly, it’s important to remember that these two emotions can exist together. You can feel overwhelmingly sad on some days, while still feeling grateful for the blessings in your life. Everyone needs to grieve in their own time, and no one would expect you to skip this stage and move right into gratitude. It’s a journey to healing, and everyone is on their own timeline. 

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