Life By Kristen

Go, and embrace your liberty. And see what wonderful things come of it. – Little Women

Grief, Hope, & Gratitude

You know what I love lately? All the honest conversations happening in the media because people finally feel they can talk about grief, gender identity, sexuality, miscarriage, and so on. All these conversations give me hope.

The coverage of the death of Joe Biden’s son Joe and Sheryl Sandberg’s husband Dave have opened up a lot of dialogue about grief that, oddly enough, make me so happy. Grief, death, and dying was a thing I was so not comfortable with before I lost Dad- but since losing him, the ability to talk about it with people in open, truthful ways– either crying or mad or neither– was so incredibly helpful as I tried to parse out all the things I was/am feeling.

Sheryl Sandberg’s piece on life after losing her husband struck a chord for me, especially the concept of no ending to grief. I find lately that yard work and my career have become my triggers– my Dad used to do so much of mine for and with me, and he was a go-to person for career/life advice in ways other people haven’t quite fit in.

And then to think of Joe Biden, who has lost two children and a wife, yet has a great outlook on life. Someone sent my Mom a quote shortly after my Dad died that was something along the lines of- “the greatest gifts we can give our loved ones who have passed is to live fully in their memory.” I think Biden certainly has done that, but also, as this writer acknowledges, it’s the art of gratitude and being thankful for the blessing of a loved one in your life. I’m constantly reminded that I was blessed to have my Dad and call him my best friend, and what a special gift he was to everyone in his life. But it’s more than that too, as the losing of a loved one also shows you the kindness of others. It’s made me realize how many little things make life sweet– whether the cool breeze on a warm, sunny day or a gorgeous morning spent with family.

Grief, tragedy, heartache, sorrow– they all teach you something.

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