2022 - Finding Gratitude in Heartache

Written on January 1, 2023.

2022 was the hardest year of my life. My precious Mother left this earth on July 17, 2022 and eight days later on July 25, 2022 my Father joined her in Heaven. We also lost two beloved pets two months prior to losing my parents, we lost my dearly loved Aunt Shirley two weeks after my parents, and a very close family friend in September. I made the hardest decisions I've ever had to make during the time my parents were sick. My world was turned upside down. But, here I am five months later and I am thankful for this photograph. This photograph that captured one of the last moments I had with both of my parents a few days before they left this earth. A photograph that will forever remind me of the deep love they had for each other and the everlasting love I have for them. I miss them both so much. I am so very grateful I had them for 56 years of my life. This was the first holiday season since their passing and it's true: grief during the holidays can be harder than any other time of the year. Learning to celebrate differently was a challenge. I tried to be kind, patient and compassionate with myself and honor and make space for all of the emotions I was experiencing. New memories were made, my family's laughter was abundant, loved ones' presence at our table brought us joy, yet the void was undeniable. During this season of grief, I have discovered that the loss of a parent or in my case, both parents at the same time, is one of life's very painful passages for which one is never fully prepared. It hits at the very core of your being. And it takes a good amount of time to emerge from how it dislocates you. I am hopeful. I have 56 years of wonderful memories to provide comfort, and precious family that surrounds me with love.

Thank you Lord, for all of your many blessings.