Grateful and Sad

In a follow-up to her post We Bloom, Kelle Hampton from Enjoying the Small Things wrote Your Stories: We Bloom. In it Kelle showcased 5 women's stories of stuggle and personal growth. These women, like me, shared their story in the comments section of her original post.

If you didn't read them, it is worth a look. These five woman have faced different struggles and managed to, as Kelle puts it, "bloom."

In We Bloom, Kelle speaks of gratitude and ever since I read that post on Mother's day I can't stop thinking about what gratitude means. Kelle writes:

When we hear stories of heartache and loss, I think we naturally immediately turn to our own good fortune and say things like "Wow, am I ever grateful." Gratitude is a wonderful and necessary emotion and yet, in these instances, to say I'm grateful doesn't seem enough. It can sometimes feel rather like "I'm grateful those things happened to you and not me." Although these story-tellers, in all the infinite wisdom and perspective they've gained through challenges would tell you just grateful.

True gratitude is not simply self-serving though in the "I'm thankful I have a wonderful life" sense. True gratitude is not just a passive recognition but an active responsibility, a complex relationship between awareness and our own capabilities to make change. True gratitude not only makes us appreciate what we have but draws us closer to our most compassionate selves, allowing the stories of others' challenges to extend beyond a thankful acknowledgment for our lack of such challenges and forcing us to analyze our own stories. How can we learn the same lessons? How can we relate? How can we better help those around us in dealing with their pain?

On Sunday, I was miserable that I only had one of my sons with me on Mother's day.  I was doing my best to be grateful but, I was constantly have to remind myself that I was lucky. I had one son here, and there are lots of mom's who don't have ANY of their children on earth. It didn't matter how truly grateful I was felt to have Calder, I still felt miserable I didn't have Tripp.

That's when I realized that being grateful is empowering. Being grateful feels good. But being empowered and feeling good don't cancel out the deep feelings of sadness that come with grief.

On Sunday, I was reminded of what our counsellor, Brad, told us. He said that the process of grief isn't linear. From that I understood there were ups and downs, but somehow I thought that if I was truly grateful for what I have, it would have to cancel out the sadness I was feeling. On Sunday, I realized that filling my grateful cup didn't mean my sadness cup drains out. They are two entirely different cups.  (I actually came up with a really good analogy using integers, but I think it is easier to explain my cup one :-)

So with that I moved on. Grateful and sad. I lit a candle for Tripp. Even took one outside while we were working in the yard. I felt completely content in my new realization.


  1. <3 Thought of you lots on Sunday. It would have definitely been a difficult and overwhelming day for you. <3

    And you're right. It's so easy to have overlapping emotions, and it's confusing when that happens! (especially to linear folks... ;))


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