A couple of years ago at this time of year, I was not feeling thankful. I was feeling the deep, intense grief of someone who has lost someone or something. I was feeling alone. I was feeling like no one anywhere could possibly understand my pain and suffering. I was feeling like I would never, ever be able to climb out of the hole of depression that I had fallen into.
I’d like to mention also, that during this time I was surrounded by friends and family who were wonderful. They tried to say all of the right things, they even excused me from having to bring a dish to Thanksgiving. But sometimes – most times – every time, actually – the griever must just let the grief run it’s course. The thing that is the hardest, is that we don’t know how long that course will be. Sometimes it is a sprint, sometimes it is a never-ending marathon. We long for control over our emotions, we want to dominate the pain that is ruining everything; but the more we push against it, the longer our journey to healing will be. It is the worst.
My journey has been a long one and I have wounds that haven’t quite healed. What I appreciate most are the friends and family who are ever-patient with me. Ones who refrain from saying “Why can’t you just get over this already? Isn’t it time to move on now?” even when they don’t fully understand why I can’t do that. I am grateful for friends and family who have matched my rage and sorrow with empathy and love.
I realize that this year some of my dearest friends had hard Thanksgivings and are likely dreading Christmas in a way that I’m familiar with. I’m also willing to bet that I have friends and acquaintances who are having a hard time that I know nothing about. If you are one of those persons, I want you to know that you’re not alone. There are a whole bunch of friends and strangers alike that love you – that are praying for you – that have felt a pain as deep and treacherous as yours and who have survived. You will too. And in years to come, it will hurt a little less. But for now, I’m so, so sorry for your suffering.
Every Thanksgiving social media is bursting with images of what and who people are thankful for. I have hesitated to share some of those images myself for fear that I’m not being totally honest that this time of year is a little hard for me. So here is the full picture – I’m sad, I’m thankful, I’m hopeful and I’m thinking about all of you with love and thanks and hope as well.
Sincerely – Kara