After my mum’s death, I had therapy to try and navigate through the minefield that is grief. It’s a process that I don’t think ever really ends. There’s no finish line, no tape across the chest moment and no finishers medal. That’s the hardest part I think. Coming slowly to the awful realisation that there will forevermore be this thing called grief tailing you like a demonic puppy.
One of the things the therapist suggested was a gratitude journal to record all of the things I still had in my life that I was grateful for. I filled it in every night for months and only stopped when I realised that I was repeating myself. While it’s good to remind yourself of the blessings in your life, there comes a point where repetition just becomes, well, repetitive.
What I’ve come to notice these past few weeks, however, is how I’m now grateful for some of the things I don’t have. I’m grateful for instance that after years of colouring my hair, I’m now getting the opportunity to see my ‘natural’ colour. Spoiler alert, it’s mostly grey.
I’m grateful that, in having this unexpected and enforced break from paid work, I’ve been given the time to re-think my life and my priorities – to lose myself again in writing fiction and rediscover my creative side.
I’m even glad that my lovely mum isn’t here to endure this. As much as I miss her, I know what a toll this would have taken on her, not to mention how vulnerable she would have been to this terrible disease.
They say that in every crisis there is opportunity. I’m going to take the opportunity to be grateful for the things I don’t have.
It’s not about doing or having – it’s all about being