Gratitude and Grief

I was thinking that maybe I should remember to write on those good days.  You know the really good ones.  The ones where you seem to have a grasp on gratitude for what you have.   When you have a handle on “the moments” you get to have.  When you believe the voice you hear coming from within is full of truth and wisdom and you really do want people to not think they are words.  I have those days.  I do experience a spring in my step, and joy in my heart.  I am not pretending, nor am I putting on a face.  That pretender belongs to the “old me”.  The one who closed her heart, believing that in self-protection, she would keep the pain at bay.  Oh, the lies we tell ourselves.

But it is the days like today when I suddenly feel that I have the world crushing in on me that I seem to write.   It is rarely big stuff that happens to push one over the edge.  It is the little things that catch you off guard,  that let you know you are holding your breath. I think I started to recognize it last night.  Me, a woman of many words, struggled with finding the words when someone asked her to speak.  It was almost like I could see their lips moving but I couldn’t figure out enough pieces in the recess of mind, to form an answer.  I just wanted to sink into a chair and stair into nothingness. But then I found my voice and I haltingly tried to explain.  I tried to say that I knew how precious those moments are with my granddaughter.  And I know that the person meant well when they said, don’t think of the future or what might be.  Do they think I don’t know that! Do they not realize that with every ounce that is what I am trying to do!

But instead of walking away I tried to be brave. To try a little harder to speak of my feelings.  Because after all these are my friends. But it is difficult to try to explain to someone when you know that they don’t understand what it is like to feel like there are moments when it hits you like a ton of bricks, and you are flattened, and devastated.  And you are wasting your words when you say, “I know you mean well because I know that this too shall pass”, because most just don’t know any words that will comfort you.

Queen Gramma Jamma with some of her beautiful angels.  When I look down at these children, I am always grateful.  Layla is in the snowflakes, Adelyne is under the toys, Ben is bright in yellow, and Orange looks good on 4 year old Liam (missing are Rylee and Zack - I think they are under the table)
The reality is that there are no words that will make you feel better.  Grief is soul wrenching and it is exhausting.  But the beauty in grief is that you can learn to have such a capacity for love that you never knew you were capable of.  I also believe that grief can give purpose.  I know there are those that can turn grief into action.  All of our charitable causes have sprung from someone’s grief.  There are no right ways or wrong ways to grieve.  Grief is one of the most personal and rawest emotions that can fill our bodies.  It is almost like it takes over every inch, leaving us without any control.  But grief ebbs and it flows.  And for me when it ebbs there is a beauty that takes its place.  Empathy replaces those spots of sorrow.  Empathy allows me to look around the room and see the value in each individual person.  It allows me to smile, to reach out, to appreciate.  Empathy allows me to give without expecting someone to give back to me because I may not have realized it except by my own experience, that I am encountering someone who is unable at this moment in time to give anything of themselves.  And I can be their gift.  Because I understand, and I am grateful.


  1. Beautiful post, Janet. Thank you for sharing. It tugged at my heart.
    Kimberly Xo

  2. thank you for taking the time to say so.


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