As everyone gathers around the table tomorrow, those of us that have lost loved ones will noticeably notice Grandma’s favorite special dessert missing, Dad’s laughter not there or the absence of a baby who never sat at a Thanksgiving dinner.
It can become easy to spiral into a hole of depressive hell around the holidays. If you lost someone and go that route, I don’t blame or judge you. There are holidays I have.
But for most holidays, I take it as a time to be extra full of happiness, joy and thankfulness.
I am thankful for one more Thanksgiving with people I love.
I am thankful for the opportunity for more memories.
Each year as we lose more important people in our life, this year we lost my father-in-law and grandmother, I become even more patient and loving to the relatives who are there.
Somehow it’s not as aggravating that my mother-in-law delays dinner over the lack of noodles or my brother-in-laws show up late, all things that have made me stomp my feet in total frustration before.
I don’t care what time they show up. I don’t care if dinner is delayed two hours because of last minute changes. I just care that I get to spend tomorrow with people I love.
Each holiday becomes even more special. I’m learning that if we’re all extremely lucky, we might get 100 Thanksgiving dinners. This will be my 30th. I’m not taking anything for granted.
I’ll call relatives that can’t make it that day, and I’ll miss them. But, I’ll be so glad that I get to even hear their voices that day. I’ll be so full of thanks knowing I got to talk to them and hope with all my might every one is around for the next holiday.
This is what thankfulness in grief looks like.