This is not something I do often enough. In fact, after my child died, I never thought I'd be grateful again. And some days are still very hard because I ache for my child to be here -- lo, these four years after his death. On those difficult days, there is just nothing for which to be grateful because I'd just rather be with my child. *BUT* after these several years, I do actually have a day here and there where I am grateful. Though I doubt my sense of being grateful is the same as most.
Most might be grateful for that new car, or the two week family vacation, or that new job that pays more and has less of a commute. But for me, my grateful days are made up of things like sighs of relief that a child is born alive after a difficult pregnancy, or that a mother survives after almost bleeding to death in childbirth, or giving prayers of thanks to [enter name of Higher Power here] for letting that child heal after being in the ICU with some childhood disease that turned deadly.
My sense of life is very much mingled with a sense of death. For this, I am grateful because it makes me appreciate every second that my husband is alive and with me -- even when I'm upset with him about something or other. I'm grateful because I know to the marrow of my bones that someday death will separate us from being on the physical realm together.
Okay, so this month's Poetry Therapy exercise is to look into the words you are using verbally and in writing to see where you are grateful vs where you are fearful. And then to take all the fearful places and rewrite them as grateful words. What good does this do? I don't know. Maybe it does no good at all. BUT maybe it just helps me to release the fear and have a miraculous shift in perspective for just a moment or two. Maybe it just helps me to remember that I am grateful to be alive, until it is my turn to die and be back with my son.
So what do I mean by grateful vs fearful? Let me give you a couple of explicit examples:
Fearful: I fear my husband
will die and I'll be all
Fearful: I fear being homeless
and having to sleep in a
shelter separated from my
Fearful: I am a terrible
artist, and my work is just
not any good.
Okay, maybe it isn't poetry really. Maybe this month's column is a prose column! So the challenge is to take a few moments every single day and:
Try it. See what happens. See how it feels. Feel free to write and share your experience with us!
Miracles to you,
L.C. Jones, Dakota's Mommy