As you know, I say I’m sorry too often (still working on that – see my post Sorry Not Sorry). I also say thank you all the time. But this one I can never say enough. These December dates were the days we were saying goodbye to my late husband. Three years ago can feel like yesterday when you wake and find tears already on your pillow case. But more than ever, I am keenly aware of my gratitude and how it softens my sorrow and intensifies my joy.
On my last visit to his grave it was the words I am sorry and thank you that kept coming out of me. Thank you for your love, thank you for your grace, thank you for the life we were able to live and the lives we were able to create. I hope I show my thanks by how I try to carry our family forward.
And for the people around me, the living breathing people who have loved me throughout – I hope you know how thankful I am. I hope you hear me say it. My family, my friends, my co-workers, my children, and the readers of this blog – thank you!
Lately I find myself whispering thank you in the car, into the floppy ear of the puppy, as the kitten flurries by, and as I fall asleep on my new sheets. Thank you, thank you. Every kindness, every smile offered feels like a gift – a welcomed surprise.
Isn’t this what we all want? To have the gentleness we so need (grieving or not) woven throughout our days? And something has changed in me since he died – the love I feel is heightened. The love I am offered is so very appreciated.
I have been desperate for comfort, I have played with anger, I have been weary with worry. But I always circle back to gratitude. I think it is like coming up for air. I can only sink so long. Being thankful is my reset button. If you are grieving, I hope you can find your way there too. But if you can’t – just hold on. Be patient with yourself. You will come up for air, in your way, and in your time. Terrible things can happen in an instant, wonderful things can to. The beauty of life might just show up at your front door (or maybe on your back deck).
Someone told me last week that my need to say thank you, the joy I feel in saying thank you, is like a little prayer. Amen.
I wrote this poem a while ago – thank you for reading.
It’s true what they say,
tell the people you love that you love them,
Offer kindness and say thank you,
Tell them why you cherish them,
Laugh at their jokes.
even their breathing is music.
Because when the silence comes,
it’s all you hear.
Caroline L. Fish