Tag Archives: loss

Thoughts on Gratitude

This is the time of year when everyone talks about gratitude. What are we grateful for? How do we teach our children gratitude? How can we be more grateful for all we have?

Although I have not had a great loss in my life since I was young, I have had friends with losses who say with all sincerity and understanding, Appreciate what you have, live every moment like it’s your last, be thankful for your husband, kids etc. Why is it that we can’t fully follow this advice that know is so right? Is it because we can’t know loss until we experience it? Without the loss staring us in the face, it’s hard to know what it’s like.

I believe my life has been blessed. I have a loving husband, two wonderful, successful and happy children, and now an amazingly adorable grandson. I see my children often considering they live several hours away, we have wonderfully happy, connected relationships. I have a beautiful home on a beautiful hill with many great friends in a great community.

Despite all this, I find it comes easier to gripe and complain than it does to be immersed in gratitude. Consciously I can give thanks for my abundance, but unconsciously I find myself wondering what if…, if only…, I wish I had…wouldn’t I be happier if…. Is it who I am—my temperament?

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Grief and Loss

Three days ago we had to put our adored eleven year old dog to sleep. The sorrow has been immense. Only two days before that we found out that he had lots of cancer including all through his lungs. He had slowed down a bit and had become finicky about eating in the last couple of weeks. But we had no idea the extent of his illness. As soon as he had the chest xray and ultrasound showing us all the tumors, it was as if now that we knew, he could give in to it. In two days, he deteriorated so fast that we had no choice but to end his struggle. It was so hard for him to breathe that he resisted lying down for hours at a time.

I have only lived without a dog for a couple of years of my life when I was in college and right after. Dogs have been an essential part of my life and I have gone through many losses. One might, and many do say, “I don’t want to get so attached just to go through the grief of losing something I love.” I think many people don’t have animals or even children for that very reason. To me it would be like saying to my children, “Please don’t come home for visits because it’s too hard to say goodbye each time.”

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