Grateful Even in Grief

Mairead Walpole, author of A Love Out of Time posted an article on the Second Wind Publishing Blog entitled “Thanksgiving: A holiday or the trigger for the countdown to Christmas?” I read the article more for her observations than because of an interest in the holidays, thinking I had nothing for which to be grateful, then it struck me how wrong I was. I have a lot to be grateful for despite my continued (though much gentler) grief.

I am thankful I have a place to sleep, food to eat, desert trails to walk, books to read, words to write.

I am thankful for the people who have entered my life to give me support during this bleak time.

I am thankful I had my life mate to love and care for.

I am thankful my life mate loved and cared for me.

I am thankful for the emotional security offered by our relationship, which gave me the freedom to try new things.

I am thankful he shared his life — and his death — with me.

I am thankful for our added closeness at the end.

I am thankful he is no longer suffering.

I am thankful he didn’t linger as a helpless invalid. He dreaded that. 

I am thankful for his legacy. He faced his death with such courage that he gave me the courage to face my life.

I am even thankful for my grief. It reminds me that he shared part of this journey called life with me, and it is helping me become the person I need to be to continue my journey alone.

So, this Thanksgiving, I am grateful even in grief.

19 Responses to “Grateful Even in Grief”

  1. Dani Says:

    Beautiful, Pat. Peace be with you through the winter time.

  2. Malcolm R. Campbell Says:

    Once we start listing what we’re thankful for, the list begins to look infinite.


    • Pat Bertram Says:

      Malcolm, Yes, it does. I normally don’t do this sort of thing, but I wanted to remind myself that despite everything, I still could find it in me to be thankful for something.

  3. Carol Ann Hoel Says:

    Grief hurts so much that forgetting all else is easy. You are truly blessed to be aware of the goodness that sustains you even through tear-stained eyes. Blessings to you especially on the holiday when you need an extra hug…

  4. Joy Collins Says:

    Yes, Pat, I have to agree with you. Despite the grief and how much it hurts – especially today [6 months] and especially at this time of year – I am so grateful for the love and life John and I shared. Peace to both of us and to all those suffering the loss of their life mate.

  5. joylene Says:

    Thing is nice. I am grateful I stumbled across your blogs.

  6. Carol J. Garvin Says:

    Even in life’s darker times there are things for which we can be grateful. I’m glad you took the time to discover what yours are. It gives a different perspective to life, doesn’t it? Blessings to you at Thanksgiving and throughout the coming days.

  7. leesis Says:

    we dont have thanksgiving here in Aussie land but this I know…to love and to be loved is IT and grief, well thats the thing we feel when we have had something very special and lose it. The loss is agony yet the gift is divine.

  8. Karen Says:

    Thanksgiving Blessings to you…I often feel, after reading your blogs, that you and I walked the same path and I am grateful for your words. Even if I am not in the same place as you at this moment in time, I know that I eventually get there and I am grateful for the glimpse of what is to come. I hope you find the blessings in the brokeness today!

  9. Kim Wencl Says:

    Pat – your words are so true – but sometimes it is easy to let the pain and sadness take over. I lost my 20-year old daughter Elizabeth on 9-20-03. She was a college student at the Univ of Minnesota and a fire broke out in her duplex and she and two of her roommates all died of smoke inhalation.

    As difficult as Liz’s death was, I made up my mind very early on that the best way to honor her was to live again – to laugh, to love, and to do whatever I can to make the world a better place. 99% of the time that is what I do – and it brings me great joy and peace. I have many stories I could share about Liz and our continued connection – here is one I wrote about the last Thanksgiving we had with her.

    Blessings on your journey!
    Kim Wencl

    • Pat Bertram Says:

      Kim, there is so much sadness in the world, it’s great that you are doing what you can to bring a ray of light. Thank you for stopping by and sharing your story. It’s how we get through this — sharing our stories.

  10. Mairead Says:

    Hi Pat,
    That was beautiful. Glad my article helped in some small way.
    Maggie (Mairead Walpole)

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