Can We Find Gratitude in Grief?

Yesterday I found an excellent blog post via Facebook on grief, titled Everything Doesn’t Happen For a Reason by Tim Lawrence. The main idea of the post is that ‘Some things in life cannot be fixed. They can only be carried. ‘ – Megan Devine, It is a poignant post about grief and life after a major loss or trauma.

Gratitude Tip: How does gratitude fit in when we’ve experienced loss? Does gratitude play a role in the grieving process? Are we able to find gratitude even though we are carrying hurt or loss in our hearts for the rest of lives?

I have been thinking about this a lot lately, as unfortunately, many people around me have experienced loss in the past few weeks. Perhaps because I am getting closer to 40, more of my friends are losing their parents. And tragically, friends of mine through business just lost their son in car accident, he was in his early 20s. When we experience loss, I agree with the blog post mentioned above, that it’s not something that we can ever ‘fix’ or ‘get over’, a part of us will always be missing or in pain.

Grief is a process, however, and the nature of how we feel grief changes with time. Where does gratitude fit in during this process? Certainly it’s not logical to be grateful for the loss of someone we love or grateful to have suffered a trauma. I can agree to that, I am not grateful that I almost lost my life last year and spent a week in a medically induced coma to heal. Instead, I look at my gratitude practice as a part of the healing process. Being able to find gratitude, even on the smallest level, can help while we are processing trauma or grief.

Perhaps we can find gratitude in the memories we shared with a person who is no longer here with us on Earth. Thankfully, we tend to remember more good times than bad after a person has passed. Our lens into the past tends to be curved towards happy times. One of the things I have noticed is that for many of my friends who have experienced a loss (especially of a child), they are grateful when you bring up a memory of them. They want you to remember them.

I am not an expert on grief and trauma. All I know is that having a gratitude practice that is habitual can help during even the most difficult of times, as many of you have shared with me. I encourage you to continue to grow your own daily gratitude practice and share it with others. Did you know that you can subscribe to these daily blog posts? They are sent out every day at 10 am EST.  If daily is too much, that’s ok, I’ve created a new list that allows you to receive a summary of a week’s worth of posts on Wednesday.


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