I hope you all had a beautiful Thanksgiving! And for those whose heart aches during the holiday season, may you have found a bit of peace, however fleeting, and surrounded yourself with love.
My Thanksgiving was filled with more food than I ever deemed imaginable. And don’t get me wrong, it was beyond scrumptious. But more importantly, that day was also overflowing with an abundance of love.
After losing my mom, I wasn’t sure if I could feel those happy feelings on a holiday again. Last year was my first holiday season without her and my heart ached deeply. I have truly beautiful people who fill my life and while they have helped to make this journey easier, it is one that I have largely had to walk alone.
I dreaded Thanksgiving Day. I was afraid of being happy, especially after a loss, because I have this tugging feeling that at any moment it can collapse. And if I’m being honest, I sometimes feel guilty for being happy, though I know in my heart that my mom would want nothing more for me than that. So, for the past week or so, I have been sad, slightly bitter, and a little angry as I put up a wall around my heart.(My sincerest apologies to those I love who put up with me.) I wrote, went running (not the best idea when battling a cold), cried a whole bunch and did whatever else was necessary to wade through this.
I was fearful of the feelings the holiday would bring until….I awoke that morning, reminded of what an amazing man I have in my life. Until we stopped at the coffee shop where his sister works and I was filled with happiness (and delicious coffee!) at seeing her smiling face. Until we walked into his parents’ house and I was blown away with gratitude for how his equally amazing family has always welcomed me with open arms. Yes, grief can bring fear and sadness but the opposite of grief is joy, which brings with it a whole other array of feelings such as gratitude and love. I was so scared of breaking down that day, that I didn’t fathom the possibility of being lifted up by love.
Of course, I miss my mom. That part doesn’t go away and I am reminded when that gut-wrenching pain comes somewhere out of left field. However, through all of this darkness, I have grown increasingly grateful for the moments of light, as I don’t wish them to go unnoticed. So, on this Friday I am feeling an enormous amount of gratitude for all of you and the hope of better days that you have instilled in me. I can’t help but feel so much love for you all.
Thank you for reminding me of all the reasons I have to be thankful.