|A beautiful little hand-typed poem that I found in our front yard one day. E and I came home to find|
paper floating around in the air, as someone nearby was burning stuff, and there it was.
Some years it is hard to really feel the weight of being thankful. Some years go by and while there are many important things that happen, the impact has been lost by the time the holiday comes around. Others it is so heavy it is all you can do to not shout out loud how grateful you are! This year for me is so heavy with events and changes and experiences and tragedy, I would be lying if I said I only felt thankful for it all. Let's just say that it is a bittersweet version of Thanksgiving.
But, there are a few things I would like to share that I am thankful for this year. The first would be my time with E. I have mentioned that on here before, but on those days when it is really hard to believe he is gone, I can only feel thankful that I even knew him at all. That he changed my life the way he did and that he loved me. It is hard to focus anymore on the hard stuff when someone gets further away from you. I am sure that is just part of the grief process but I also am beginning to believe it has as much to do with our loved one still being present in some way, helping us let all of that go. The loss is still too much some days, and I can't say I am necessarily thankful for that. Maybe one day I will be far enough away from the loss to be able to understand how necessary the grief process is in order to grasp what living really is. Which leads me to the next thing I am thankful for, the strength to move through all of this. This strength that I have had has not come from me, it has clearly been a gift from above. There is no way I possessed that on my own. There is no way any of us do. It has also been given to me through little prayers and thoughts and well wishes that are sent out to me. The outpouring of people who showed up during the week of his death still astounds me. There is something to be said for how we live our life on earth and how it effects those around you. E truly did effect those around him, in a way that most of us only wish we could do. To look around and see the variety and the number of people that were not only there to celebrate him, but who have continued to show up speaks loudly about who he was. I am so grateful for all of these people in my life. To be held up in times when you can't do it by yourself is such a humbling feeling. I cannot express the love I have for all of these people in my life. I have been stitched closer to my friends and family that were already there, and can now also call those that have known him all of these years, dear friends of mine too. It is a very large group of amazing people.
I am also thankful for the opportunity to face really hard roads and to be forced to dig deep and really look at who I am. Who I really am going to choose to be. Honestly, there are more days than I am comfortable admitting where I ask the "why me? why did all of this happen?" questions. And on those days I am absolutely NOT thankful for all of these hard roads and opportunities to face who I am becoming. But the bigger part of me realizes we all have to at some point or another, and I guess while I wish I had been given a little more time before experiencing this, I am thankful to be where I am in my journey. Mainly because I am having to learn how to just "be." How to forgive myself and to take care of myself and to live in each moment. To be okay with where I am in every step of life. This has been/is a hard lesson for me to learn. But I believe this is a lesson we continue to learn and refine all of our lives. This crash course has been difficult to swallow and be okay with, but when we don't have a choice in making it different, we have to surrender. As I am surrendering, I am seeing the beauty of how life can unfold. It is a hard thing to forgive yourself or to truly, truly love yourself; but it is necessary and I am thankful to be at a place of understanding that now.
Grief is an unbelievable process. And it is a process. I can't speak much to it as I am still in the depths of it, hopefully one day, but there are moments of absolute peace and clarity, and then two hours later you can be so lost and angry you want to throw your hands in the air and just step out for a while. At least that has been my experience. Which brings me to the last two things I am thankful for right now. The first is my home. When I say home I am referring to not only the house, but my dogs and all that is contained there. There are many days when it is just me and the dogs. I absolutely know they miss E and they understand it is different. The beauty of dogs is that they sense when you are sad or need love, and they give it freely. It sounds crazy, but the three of us have clung pretty tight through this. If I didn't have them there when I got home to greet me and lay next to me it would be a much lonelier space. Some mornings it has been strictly the fact that I needed to get up, let them out and feed them that I have been able to get going into my day. And the house itself is the ultimate comfort. I know what it is to live out of suitcases, and have friends and family graciously open up rooms to you. I have experienced this a few times in my life and as thankful as I am to them, it is still not "home." Settled. This "home" may be the thing I am most thankful for. As alone as I may feel most days, I don't when I am in the house or the yard with the dogs. I feel like I have some place to be, that not everything has been uprooted and taken from me. E loved that house so much and as crazy as it may sound, he left such great energy here. I can paint the walls and rearrange furniture but it still feels like the house we both loved and I am happy to still call it home.
And the last thing I am thankful for is a new baby coming into the world and into my life. Into my family. The timing of it all is a reminder of why we need to have faith. It was a struggle for my sister and brother-in-law, but had this baby come at any other time it wouldn't have been perfect timing. There is a bigger picture happening here and the reminder is a blessing. Besides how can one continue to want to throw in the towel when a baby is on the way. This kid doesn't have a clue what he has already done for his aunt.
Happy Thanksgiving to any and all that read this blog.