Step 3 and Grief

This is a hard one.  Trying to find something to be grateful about when someone you loved died is like trying to drink alkoseltzer.  It just leaves a bad taste in your mouth.  But, it’s necessary to get better.   You won’t be grateful that your loved one died (although you might be grateful their suffering is over).  But, I promise you that you can find something to be grateful about.  It might just be that you have survived the funeral.  It might be that you made it through the first week or month or year.  It might be that you made it an hour without crying.  Whatever IT is, find something about the situation to be grateful about and say it out loud.  Yes out loud.  It helps to solidify it by hearing it.  Example:   I am so grateful that I got to have Aunt Doris in my life.  I’m so grateful that I got to be with her as she experienced the biggest event of her life (death).  I’m so grateful that I remember her silly stories so I can pass them on to my own kids.  It doesn’t matter what you say, just say things that you’re grateful for.  Doing this will break up some of your pain and replace it with peace.

If it’s too hard for you to find something about your loved one to be grateful for, find something else.  Be grateful for the fact that you have a home to live in or clothes to wear or a car to drive or food to eat.  Find anything and everything that you can to feel grateful about.

Why is this important?  Why should you be grateful for anything when you’re feeling so bad?  Because gratitude takes what you have an makes it feel like it’s enough.  When you are suffering grief, you don’t usually feel like things are enough.  You want more.  You want your loved one back.  You want your life back.  This new life is not enough.  You want more.  And because you want more, you can’t feel peace in your life.  If you want to be content and have peace, you NEED to practice gratitude.  It’s easy to practice gratitude when you’re happy, but that’s not when you need it.  You need it when you’re lost and alone and afraid.  So, please, for your own peace of mind, practice gratitude when you are grieving.  Click on step 3 under the steps to contentment tab and re-read it.  Find gratitude in the little things and work up to the biggies.  Eventually, you’ll break up enough of your pain that you’ll be able to think of your loved one and be grateful.  Grateful for the time you had with them.  Grateful for all of the wonderful things that made them – them.  Grateful for all of the stupid, irritating things they did that made you learn and grow as a person.  Grateful for the love that you shared with them.  Grateful for the pain that you shared with them.  Grateful.

Gratitude is a powerful weapon against pain.  And it is so hard to do when you’re suffering.  It’s just hard to be grateful for anything when you got the rug pulled out from under you.  But, it’s important.  If you practice this over and over all day long, you will slowly start to feel better.  Don’t give up on it.  Did I say it’s important?  Because it is.  It’s important.  Gratitude. Is. Important. It is THE best tool for fighting grief.  You will slowly start to feel grateful for things again.  You will slowly start to feel ok again.  It will happen.  But, you have to do the work.

Wishing you much love and peace,

Molly