I don’t offer up gratitude to cover up, to hide, or to avoid the reality of grief. Gratitude is not a bandaid covering my wound or a safety pin holding my torn garments together.
There is no “at least” to preface my expressions of gratitude. And I beg of you, do not expect the grieving heart to utter such words. There is no “at least”.
I am grateful because I am, but I will not offer grateful thoughts as mere platitudes that slap grief in the face.
I offer gratitude from a heart that has been broken and torn, from a heart that bleeds. Only honest words can relay the story of a grateful heart.
I can tell you that I am grateful for my husband, my children, and my granddaughter. It is a beautiful truth. A truth so precious that it sets my heart to beat a rapid flutter of joy.
That truth does not erase the painful expression of my heart that aches because of loss. That truth does not cover over the fractured place that will forever love a boy.
I can tell you that I am grateful for a peaceful home, a safe place for mourning and healing, a place of laughter and delight, a place where children dance and cry.
That truth does not erase the corner of my heart that wants to see my beautiful boy playing on the floor, his head thrown back with deep belly laughs that shake our souls.
I can tell you that I am grateful for oh so many beautiful and wonderful things, and in that same breath I can tell you that I grieve. Grief doesn’t have an ending.
Please allow me to be grateful because it creates a place in my heart for finding joy amidst pain, for creating happy moments as I carry a never ending ache in my heart, for remembering beauty in spite of the ashes.
Please allow me to be grateful without expecting it to to be the magic bullet to heal my grief. Please allow me to be grateful with an understanding that along with every gratitude there is the sometimes gentle and sometimes piercing hand of grief that touches my heart.
I grieve deeply because I loved deeply.
And for the same reasons I express gratitude.
Because of love.
Because of loss.
I recently learned about a Japanese craft tradition of restoring cracked pottery with gold resin called Kintsugi. The artists takes broken shards and binds them together with this beautiful technique that allows the potter’s original shape to be seen but with artistically mended cracks. Not hidden, defined dramatically with beauty.
I hope, if I must be cracked, that one day I will feel as beautiful as this.
To grieving hearts,
Perhaps like me you feel shatterd and broken. I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve said, “I just want to break something!!!
Maybe you’ll consider doing just that. Maybe it’s time for us to break something so that we can mend it together beautifully with gold, as a symbol of out own hearts.
I’ll be trying this soon on a beautiful heirloom piece of mine that broke many years ago. Heck, maybe I’ll finally get to break something!