Thanksgiving is upon us… just one week away and most of the country has gone back to lockdown. Quarantined. Eight months into the year and COVID-19 still has us out of whack, alone and separated from one another.
This time of the year is already usually hard for so
many. Especially those who are grieving
the lost of a loved one, in particular, the anniversary of a death that happened during this season. For myself (and my husband) this would be the
first year, the first time ever, in the 40 plus years we’ve been together, that
we will be spending Thanksgiving alone.
For us, like others I’m sure, this will be a major
adjustment, not being able to at the very least spend time with our daughters
and our grandson. And most of all,
missing Joseph, yet another holiday, yet another year. I suppose we should be somewhat used to being
alone, after all we’ve been on lockdown for months. He kept his office closed and I was already
home. So we’ve been here alone together already. But this time, THIS holiday season, is like
For others, those who’ve lost children, those who lost loved ones to COVID or anything
else, those who are generally alone, and even those who have been struggling to
make ends meet, this Thanksgiving certainly presents a whole new and different
challenge on so many levels that I could not even and don’t even know where to
start to address. I don’t claim to know
everything or even want to know everything.
But I do know that this is an extremely complicated time and season we
are in. Trying to find words to satisfy
or comfort someone, even myself is a struggle.
But if I could offer one piece of advice for anyone who
might be grieving loss this year, of any kind, financial, job, personal, death,
or even activity, I would say as God has been telling me, “Focus on what you
I know this might be hard, for some. As it was for me. For a moment.
But as I begin to dwell on those things that I do not have, that I won’t
have, that I could have, God simply spoke and said, “But what about the things
you have. Focus on those.”
It might not be much.
You may not be able to visit with people in your life or change your surroundings, but you can focus on the
things that you do have. The things that
you can do. The people you still
have. Even if it’s only you, I suspect
that if you know God, you have at least three more.
Focus on what you have.
Celebrate and appreciate and give thanks for what you have in your life. For whom you have in your life.
When we take the time to appreciate what we have, what we
don’t have becomes less important. It
doesn’t mean that a loved one is less important or that their life did not
matter, I would never say that. My
Joseph mattered. All your loved ones
matter. But if we focus on our losses,
we will miss the blessing in what we have.
What we have right now.
When we focus on things we don’t have or don’t like or
whatever lack we may be missing… we can cause ourselves to lose hope. We can become depressed and lonely and sad
and dejected and so much more. But if we
focus on what we do have, we’ll see the hope.
We’ll see the promise. We’ll see
the tomorrow. We’ll see that this too
So while I do not have my girls and my grandson, and
extended family physically here with me; while I don’t have my Joseph… we will
yet have each other. I’m thankful that we
have phones, we can communicate, we can see one another. We can eat together if we want to. No, I cannot do that with Joseph, but I can
remember him and continue to honor him, by living and appreciating others who
are still here.
And right now, in this season, that is reason enough to be
thankful. In spite of my grief.
Once I start there, I can think of plenty of other reasons
as well. I have my life. I have my
strength. I have the ability to move, to
speak, to hear. I have a roof over my
head. I have my health. I still have my mom. I have people who love me. I have my husband. So we’ll be alone, but at least we’ll be TOGETHER.
In the midst of my grief, in the midst of grieving, for
whatever reason it may be, I can and you can get through this season, although
it may be difficult, if we focus on what we have.
Focus on what you have.
You will find that you will also have HOPE for tomorrow.
Because God is real, I am thankful, even in the shadow of my
Copyright ©2020 EvelynFannell