At the corner of grief and gratitude

3 years ago

The other morning I was driving to work, listening to a story on NPR. I don’t remember the subject of the story, who, or why–but a calm, confident voice used the words grief and gratitude in the same sentence.

Those two words, in such close proximity, captured my attention for the rest of the drive. There was something about how she spoke­, without question and without hesitation. Like the two words obviously belonged together. Right next to each other, both connected and separated, by a tiny three-letter and.

Co-existing.

Maybe I haven’t been close enough to the hard work of grief, but I always imagined that in deep, profound grief, sadness and anger would sneak in, past the memories and good intentions, and eventually push out the gratitude.

But you know, this would be a very, very good place for me to be wrong. Because one of these days I will be tested, something more than what I’ve had so far. I’d like to think that I have enough gratitude and love in my life, that it can hold me up, and help me hold others up, too.

Then again, perhaps I am over-thinking this. Because it was just a drive to work on a Thursday morning, and I don’t even remember what the real story was.

 

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