Choosing AND…

“You should be grateful.”

Just typing it made me cringe. 

How many of us have been told how we should be while grieving?

It’s always insulting. 

Then the holiday season comes like icing on the cake. A punch to the gut.


Be thankful! 

Be grateful!

It can be nauseating to even think about what gratitude would feel like during heavy grief. 

What if we told you it is perfectly normal to feel two things at once?

Gratitude AND grief.

What if just for this season, just this year, you allowed your grief in. 

What if you allowed your grief to share space with your gratitude at the Thanksgiving table?

Let’s think about what gratitude really is…

It is the feelings, thoughts and the sincere emotions that come with the blessings we receive in life. 

Would we consider it a good emotion?

Gratitude is not something that we are born to notice. Gratitude takes practice, it takes effort to notice the blessings in a world that is so often focused on the negative. 

It is easy for us to look forward to a holiday season without our person and only see grief. 

The sadness comes easy, right?

For a lot of us it has planted itself and grown roots and the roots can run deep if we let them. 

It’s really easy to let them.

What is grief really? 

I prefer to use the word mourn here. Mourning is the outward expression of the deep hurt you feel when you lose someone you love. 

Would we consider that a bad emotion?

So we have a good and a bad choice here, right?

What if I offer you a third option?


We can allow the sadness and the grief in for the season and allow the gratitude as well. 

We can miss our person deeply and be grateful for our home.

We can completely change our holiday plans AND be grateful for the way things used to be. 

It is okay to be sad and grateful at the same time. 

Grieving doesn’t negate gratitude, they can share a beautifully painful space. 

Our grief doesn’t change, we do. 

We grow. 

We integrate. 

We adapt. 

We choose AND.

-The Bereavement Team at The Retreat

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