Giving Thanks When All Is Dark

I miscarried on the Friday before Thanksgiving eight years ago. I was a mess that year during the holiday, full of grief and anger and sadness. We had planned to announce our pregnancy to our families at the Thanksgiving table. But instead, I bit my lip and cried into my mashed potatoes and mourned what i could not have.

And my family... they were so tender. My mom made my room into a little sanctuary, where I spent a lot of time sleeping off my grief. She put a coffee pot and water bottles on the desk, so i didn’t have to go upstairs until i was ready. And my Aunt Jessie comforted me in the simple way that is hard to explain. She had miscarried during her child raising years, so she just knew. She gave me the gift of feeling understood when she held my arm and cried with me.

And nobody that year made us go around the table and say what we were thankful for. Because let’s be honest - it can be really hard to list out what you are thankful for if you've just miscarried or lost your mom or dad or sibling or child or really anyone. But at the same time, just because you are hurting doesn't mean you lack a thankful spirit. Sometimes life is just too complicated to live by hard and fast rules. And sometimes you just need to be released from traditions that might make a hard day harder.

So from my heart to yours, if you can't make the list today, it's ok. I’ve been there. It doesn't mean you aren't thankful. It means you're grieving. There's a difference.