Learning to be Thankful

Being thankful is not about one day. Being thankful is not about being happy for what we have. Being thankful is not about trying to forget the sadness.

This month marks five years since we lost Sophia. We were happily pregnant for the first time. Our blissful ignorance of all the trauma that was about to tear up our lives wrapped us in a holiday glow. Gearing up for Christmas, we came off a Thanksgiving day filled with words expressing how grateful we all were for the new baby. We were thankful for the possibility of new life, new experiences, new joy. Awaiting the expansion of our family, we had no idea our thankfulness would soon crumble. December 16 our thankfulness disappeared into the depths of our grief.

As we celebrate the holidays this year with Evelyn, there is no doubt we are thankful for her beautiful smile (and ear-piercing cries) that graces our family. The previously absent thankfulness for Sophia’s loss has found a new place as well. Without Sophia, we would not have taken our journey to Evelyn. Without Sophia, I would not have the unique empathic abilities to connect with the countless others who have travelled similar journeys. Without Sophia, I would not have the profound appreciation that graces my soul as I hug, love, and admire Evelyn.

As we celebrate Sophia’s life for the fifth time this holiday season, I embrace the grief as it merges with peace. This new emotional state is a welcome reprieve from the pure sadness. And for it, I am thankful.

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