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Gratitude and Grief

February 23, 2010

Last week, I lost my grandmother.

She was 91 and she lived a long, healthy and full life. When I learned of her passing, I wrote a few words about our memories and how much she meant to me. As I was writing the post, I realized how much stronger “Weekly Gratitude” has already made me.

I am the melodramatic kind. I tend to over-analyze everything and feel emotions deeply. I worry too much and have a lot of hopes and wishes. While I love living in the United States, one of my greatest fears is not being near my family when something happens to them. For the longest time, my dad used to smoke a lot (he went from 3 packs a day to nothing, bless his soul) and he didn’t eat all that well and slept even less. I had these fears that we would lose him and I wouldn’t even be there to hold his hand. I had this long list of things that I never got to do with him. I felt that I would never forgive myself.

And yet, I am still terrible about visiting home. I dread flying with the kids and my life is pretty hard to uproot. So I haven’t been home in a long time. Thankfully my parents visit me and I’ve had the opportunity to see them. (Not nearly as frequently as I would like of course but they are so kind to take the long trip when I won’t.) But I hadn’t seen my grandmother since 2006. And now I will never see her again. When Nathaniel (my 10-month-old) was born, my parents asked me to visit so my grandmother could meet him. But I didn’t. I was too worried about flying with a baby and a 5-year-old.

So you would think that now that she’s gone forever, I would be wallowing in remorse. And I think the old-me would have. But this project has helped me see the positive side of so many things this year. I’ve noted 3 things that I’m grateful for every single day. That makes 159 things this year so far. (That’s quite a lot isn’t it? And we’re only in February.) It has shifted my focus from the bad to the good. To the “glass is half full” perspective.

And it has allowed me to move past regret into appreciation. Into being thankful for all the times I did have with my grandmother. For having had the luxury of meeting my grandmother and sharing so much with her. And on and on. I know that if it weren’t for this project I would be feeling sorry for myself so much more. Which is, of course, taking the focus off of her and making this all about me. Instead, I can celebrate her and make this all about how amazing she was. And will always be.

Which also brings me peace about my parents. Peace about my life. About living it daily. Living in the moment. Living with gratitude. And choosing joy.

This project has already changed my life more than I ever thought it could.

I will miss you, Omama, may you rest in peace.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. February 25, 2010 11:44 am

    Kim is an amazing woman. Her art and words always speak to me! This particular post was healing to many I think :)

    • barbara rothschild permalink
      February 26, 2010 9:22 pm

      Beautiful and touching. Sounds alot like how I am so I really related to your writing. Thank you and many blessings to you. Barbara

  2. Gab permalink
    April 5, 2010 2:22 am

    Karen I’m so sorry for your loss

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