I want to share with you a personal piece I wrote in September 2017 when I my dad was very ill. It was about two months before he passed away. In fact it was the day after the doctor came in and said, “I’m sorry. There are no more treatment options….”
It still brings me to tears thinking about that moment.
The next day I wrote about gratitude. I guess I was trying to find some balance and calm in a situation that was out of my control.
In essence this piece is a little reminder to take a mindful moment to practice gratitude... even in tough times. It may be just the thing to lighten the load.
It was for me.
September 21, 2017
My darling Dad who was diagnosed with an aggressive cancer at end of 2015 is approaching the end of his battle. It’s heart breaking. I feel like my world is crumbling.
The decline over the last few weeks has been rapid and caught me off guard. I thought he had more time. I thought I had more time with him. I thought this last trip to hospital was just a bump in the road. Not the end of the road.
Although I am allowing myself to feel the sadness of this situation and cry when I need to cry (which is often), I am also trying to find moments of gratitude in everyday life. Which may sound like a strange thing to do under the circumstances. But I’m finding that it’s one of the kindest things I can do for myself at the moment. I find it lifts a little of the heaviness off my heart and makes the load slightly easier to bear.
It’s easy to practice gratitude when everything is ‘peachy keen’ and things are going well in your life. There is no shortage of gratitude memes on Instagram to remind you! Heck I even have one as my desktop background! But what I’ve discovered these last few weeks, it’s actually at your lowest point when you need gratitude the most. But it is also the hardest time to do it.
So at this present time, when I often want to crawl into a ball and sob my heart out, I try and practice gratitude. Not just for my own sanity, but so I can show up each day, by my dad’s bedside and bring him the love and support he needs. Right now he deserves to feel my love. I don’t want to show up overwhelmed by my grief.
I'm grateful for all the little things. Like enjoying the sunshine on my face, my children’s laughter, a hug from a loved one and most importantly this precious time with my dad. Because I truly believe our purpose in life is to live a life filled with joy and love and gratitude is the path to achieving this.
It’s also true that you can’t fully know joy & love until you have experienced the opposite.
So where there is light there is also darkness.
Yin and yang.
Summer and winter.
Life & death.
It’s all natures’ perfect balance.
There are many traumatic things in life that can bring you to your knees and shake the foundations of your soul, and we all deal with these things in our own way.
In this world we have been given so many opportunities to experience joy and express our gratitude but we often overlook them or think they are not significance enough.
A moment of gratitude doesn’t need to be big and flashy.
And it certainly doesn’t need to be expensive. It doesn’t have to cost a cent.
Looking for beautiful, joyful moments to be grateful for is a practice, and one that should be cultivated daily to fill your heart and let it overflow. It will benefit you and everyone around you.