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11/19/2009 07:22 AM

Thanksgiving and giving

Posts: 1581
Senior Member

Thanks giving Post to share.

Thanksgiving is right around the corner. The holiday that focuses on giving thanks. The holiday that encourages the loving gathering of family. The holiday that you, while grieving the death of a loved one, might want to avoid.

It is natural for a person in grief to feel anger (even extra anger) during the holidays. Anger at the media and retail industry for constantly promoting the wondrous nature of the holiday season. Anger at all the people walking around dressed in the colors and symbols of the holidays. Even anger at yourself for not being able to “snap out of it” and get into the holiday spirit.

You are grieving the loss of your loved one, trying to manage anger, fit in socially and maintain a level of self love and acceptance on a one-day-at-a-time schedule. Thanksgiving is right around the corner and you might be wondering what do I have to be thankful for this year? Giving thanks and gratitude might seem like crazy concepts.

What you were thankful for last year probably doesn't have the same meaning for you this year. You are becoming a different person because of the death of your loved one, even if you don't realize all your changes yet. Your priorities are rearranging, your awareness of the preciousness of time has grown and your sense of the power of love is heightened.

You are a wiser person than you were before, even if you don't feel so quite yet. Perhaps this is the first thing you could give thanks for this year? Try this on for size — I am thankful that I am becoming a wiser person. How do you feel reading this thanks-giving statement? Say it out loud please. How do you feel speaking this thanks-giving statement? If it doesn't feel quite right try this — Even though I am really sad this year, I am grateful to be growing into a wiser person.

The healing power of giving thanks and expressing gratitude is strong. Many people have experienced this strong healing power and you, I'm certain, are aware of the concept of gratitude journals. Right now, in your grief and at the time of the American holiday of Thanksgiving, could be the perfect time for you to begin giving thanks as a griever.

I encourage you to take pen or pencil to paper and begin a list of things you can truly be thankful for, even though your loved one isn't physically here, you are sad and your life may be in upheaval. Reasons to be thankful may not be obvious right now but they are present. You can find some.

Start by looking for things to be thankful for that are directly related to your loved one's life in general or their life specific to you. I am thankful that my dad taught me how to play baseball, or I am grateful my grandmother was recognized as Volunteer of the Year. She was so happy at the awards dinner.

Next look for things you can be grateful for concerning their death. I am so thankful that my brother Tom got home to have quality time with mom before she died, or I give thanks for the wonderful people at hospice who gave beautiful and loving care to Aunt Jane. The music was so glorious at mom's funeral and I'm so thankful for that, or I'm thankful for all the sympathy cards we received. Reading them over again has been comforting.

Now look for things to give thanks for relating to positive changes in your life and/or your family. I am thankful now that I'm not crying in the middle of the night, or I am so grateful that every family member will be at mom's house this Thanksgiving.

Finally, find things to be thankful for that are outside of you. I am thankful that the sun shines on my neighbor's garden, or I am grateful that so many people worldwide are praying for peace on Earth every day, or I give thanks for the people who learn how and practice dancing so I can enjoy holiday musicals.

I humbly offer these thanks-giving possibilities to you. Of course, you will use your own language and style of writing/speaking as you find reasons to be thankful specific to your life right now. If you will be more comfortable, use a preface statement like Even though I am sad (mad, afraid, devastated) I am thankful that. . .

It is OK if you only have a few thanks-giving-things on your list. It is OK if tears are staining your list. It is OK to keep your thanks-giving list private or you may decide to share it with someone.

I wish you a happy thanks-giving-day.

Sincerely sending you Peace, Love & Creativity

PS I can't leave without reminding you that “snapping out of it” (paragraph two) is never required or necessarily recommended during grief. I prefer to encourage you to respect yourself by experiencing your feelings when they come up. Particular emotions usually won't show up unless you're ready to feel them.


11/19/2009 07:46 AM
walkersgrammiePosts: 36

I am thankful for you Lilsis, you have such a beautiful way with words.......I see you on here all the time helping us all through our darkest moments....Thank you for all you do! Much love, Nancy "Rick's Mom"

11/19/2009 09:53 AM
Posts: 1581
Senior Member

I am honored to hear that and thank you for acknowledging my attempts. I think we are all helping one and other here on MDJ and I am so thankful for all who openly share with one and other and teach eachother its okay to be vulnerable and humbled by our experiences. Sharing is the greatest gift i can give to anyone. The gift of self. SO thank you in return for being such a kind and caring person Nancy, its people like you that help the world to go round. Smile

Luv to you

Karen/ Lilsis


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