As we come closer to the end of the month of gratitude practices, we reach what may be the hardest exercise of the entire month. The theme for Monday, February 25th is "Gratitude in Grief." At first, this may seem like an oxymoron, like the two are mutually exclusive.
Those who have deepened in their capacity for gratitude are able to cultivate thankfulness even in the midst of grieving. This is never easy. One common reading at Unitarian Universalist memorial services states that "joy and woe are woven fine." This truth recognizes that our sorrow is often proportional to the depth of happiness that is now missing.
The challenging practice for today is to think of someone who you miss, you mourn, or you grieve for. Next, tell a story about that person, perhaps the story of a fond and joyful time. Are you capable of feeling gratitude even when that gratitude is encompassed by grief?
Again, this is not easy. How was this for you?