I’ve covered the importance of gratitude. Gratitude leads to acceptance. Most of the time, it takes discipline for me to get into gratitude. Yet, I willingly do it because the benefit is so great. It changes me for the better on every possible level.
Lately I’ve been learning the importance of grieving. Not my favorite pastime, I’ve tried to avoid it if possible. Thank you, Big Love, for this growth opportunity. I would even venture to say that for whatever reason, this last six months has been a super-sized season of grieving losses.
As with all loss, there have been chapters ended. There have been chapters ended by the Universe and those ended by me. I’ve grieved the loss of my father, my second marriage, and even friendships. Of those chapter endings initiated by me, those took great amounts of courage to consider what was in my own best interest as the top priority.
I’ve also grieved about things that didn’t even happen within this self-defined grieving reason. My mother died seven years ago but since the recent loss of my dad, it seems natural to grieve my mom again on a deeper level. I have jewelry of hers that my dad gave me when she died, and I have kept it wrapped up all these years. I just wasn’t ready to look at it. Until now. Yesterday I was able to unwrap it and lovingly go through each piece. I’m wearing a necklace of hers right now and I remember her dearly.
I honor the importance of allowing a space for grief as a natural part of life. Even daily, if needed. As a natural part of healthy aging. Some of the ways I grieve are through hearing, writing and crying, or a combination of all three. For me, the sound of certain piano music can elicit almost instantaneous response if my tear ducts need expression. I allow that space for a few minutes each day during turbulent times.
Just as grieving is imperative, so, too, is gratitude. The day after my parents’ home of 30 years was cleared out to be put up for sale, I awoke at 3:00 a.m. with a heart so heavy that it was palpable. Unexpectedly, my next awareness was gratitude ... for the rare hoot of an owl outside my window at rhythmically-timed 30-second intervals. Even my groggy, spooning bird-dog perked up at the sound. Both of us marveled with different agendas. Nature reminded me that neither of my parents is in pain anymore. I believe they are together again. They are free. And in a way, my new status feels freeing to me as well. Still sad, but also free. More gratitude flows in. So it goes. Grieving and gratitude. Hold a space for both.
Call to Action:
Hold a space for grieving losses and gratitude each day. Even just for one minute. What will you do today?
Sally Bartlett, ©2021