Can You Feel Gratitude and Grief at the Same Time?

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Must we Pick a Lane?

 

As I browse my newsfeed and email subscriptions there is certainly a common message: be grateful during this difficult time.  I agree, being grateful is what gives us hope and stamina to push on through these uncertain and dark times. However, I wonder how those experiencing a “direct hit” feel when their newsfeed is filled with reminders of gratitude, little mention of grief, loss and the suffering that is accompanying this pandemic.  I know in my deep and dark days of grief,  watching people filled with gratitude was difficult, painful and even compounded my grief.  The societal pressure to “feel better” cornered people into saying things that discounted my grief, turned my pain into an uncomfortable problem and even transformed relationships.

For the first time in my lifetime we are faced with Global Grief.  We know that it’s more comfortable to grieve together, so what a missed opportunity to be together, hold the space for gratitude and grief, if we don’t show up for one another beyond an uplifting platitude.  Must we pick a lane?  Must we choose to be grateful for the food in our cupboard and roof over our head over the grief that many thousands have died, will die and our life as we knew it has ended.  I say no.  I say the work is in being able to use gratitude for comfort and grief for connection and compassion.  I say we can work to do both.  This is the challenge and the integration Clear Mourning continues to seek and share.

Have you picked a lane?

What stops you from deeply experiencing grief and gratitude equally?  If there is fear and love, with every other emotion streaming from one of these primary emotions, then what lane would you truly pick?  If love is your answer I suspect there is room for the gratitude and the grief.