top of page

Gratefulness? Really? What Is The Relationship Between Grief and Gratefulness

Have you made your Thanksgiving Plans yet?

If you haven’t you might want to check out my last newsletter where I suggested it might be a good time for a change. If your usual plans are too stressful, it might be time to say “no thank you” and for you to find a new tradition. No one can prioritize your grief and healing like you can because no one lives it like you. Heck, hardly anyone knows what it feels like to lose your person.

Why Be Grateful?

That is a tough question, believe me, I know it.

All you want is your person back. All you want is a regular Thanksgiving. I will be honest, my first Thanksgiving I drank. A lot. Luckily my aunt and uncle rescued us from our situation. We had no money, no dad, and I didn’t even know how to make a turkey. My cheerfulness was gone. I had nothing to give.

We all met at a fancy restaurant and they hosted a big gaggle of family and watched over my kids when I stumbled out of the restaurant and said I needed some time for myself.

I remember crying and walking around to all the shops and restaurants we had visited—Eric and me—over the years. Passing by each shop I had a memory. My broken heart throbbed in pain.

Suddenly my phone pinged and Aunt Chu threatened to send Uncle Larry out to look for me. That moment jarred me into realizing that I had things to be grateful for. Just the biggest thing I was always grateful for was gone now.

I was grateful for the fun lives we lived. I had people still.

I came back to our block of rooms in tears but I celebrated Thanksgiving.

My kids were healthy. And polite. In fact, in my misery. I had forgotten that another diner came over to me and complimented me on how well-behaved my kids were. They and a young cousin had a “kids' table.”

I knew my financial situation would be resolved.

Three deep breaths.

When I was thinking about gratefulness I googled: “Why be grateful.”

The very first article named these benefits:

  1. It opens the door to more opportunities and relationships.

  2. Those who are grateful have better health.

  3. Gratefulness improves mental health.

  4. It enhances empathy and reduces aggression.

  5. Being grateful improves sleep and self-esteem.

If you are having trouble thinking about things to be grateful for, start small. Here are three small things I am grateful for as I write this newsletter:

  1. Two-dollar and twenty-eight cent large coffee from QT.

  2. My three dogs who lie at my feet as I type.

  3. A healthy body that took me on an hour's walk to look at the changing leaves this morning.

What are you grateful for? If you can’t think of anything, stop and look around at what you are doing and where you are, and name three things.

Share your answers on The Widow's Comeback Facebook grateful post so struggling widows can be inspired. Or write to me and tell me all you have to be grateful for or all you don’t have and miss. I don’t judge and I answer all my emails.



bottom of page