I am very grateful to be safe and well and at peace today, with only minor irritations to plague me, such as smoky air and wind. It doesn’t seem right to be grateful on my own behalf when there are so many problems in the world right now, not just internationally, but locally. Wildfires on either end of town pretty much isolated us yesterday because the highway had to be closed. (Not that the closure itself is a problem for me since I wasn’t planning on going anywhere, and even if I wanted to, I can’t drive until my brakes get fixed.) Some friends were evacuated, though most were allowed back home today. (The smoke is so bad in town, I can only imagine what it’s like out there near the burn zone even if they are so lucky as to be able to return home.) Others are still homeless, and from what I understand, a couple of houses did burn.
Then there are all the people I know who are still suffering long term affects from The Bob, as well as those with new and old cancer diagnoses.
I don’t even want to get into the whole war thing, except to say, doesn’t such a hot war seem out of place in the world today? Don’t we call ourselves homo sapiens sapiens? Not just wise man, but wise, wise man. Yeah, right.
On the other hand, even though it feels wrong to be grateful that I am safe and well and at peace, as if I were indulging in a bit of smugness (though truly, I am not), wouldn’t it be worse if I were not grateful? As if I took my good fortune for granted?
You grievers of all people know how little I take my good fortune for granted. We all have suffered such great losses and because of that, we are grateful for whatever peace and safety and wellness we manage to find. We also know how quickly fortunes change — health disappears in an instant, death comes between one breath and the next, what is given can be taken away.
I guess I’m answering my own question. Not the one about war, because that is unanswerable, but the one about it being worse if I were not grateful. Yes, it would be worse to take whatever good comes my way (even if it’s only good in relation to other people’s ill fortune) as if it were my due.
So, today — as every day — I am grateful to be well and safe and at peace. And I wish the same for you.
Pat Bertram is the author of Grief: The Inside Story – A Guide to Surviving the Loss of a Loved One. “Grief: The Inside Story is perfect and that is not hyperbole! It is exactly what folk who are grieving need to read.” –Leesa Healy, RN, GDAS GDAT, Emotional/Mental Health Therapist & Educator.