What do we do with this season of gratitude . . . when gratitude is so often about feeling happy ?
For the grieving heart feeling happy is hard. So how do we reconcile devastating loss with joyous family gatherings around an abundant table ? It all feels so incongruent.
Maybe it would help if we were simply given permission to be grateful
without being happy about it. There is a distinct difference between gratitude and happiness.
We can absolutely be grateful for all the delights in our lives . . . all those times when we smile at the thoughtfulness of a kind friend, collapse into breathless belly laughs or greet some unexpected joy that changes everything for the better. Who wouldn’t feel grateful and happy for such moments ?
But there is a deeper gratitude, I think.
And that is the speechless wonder, the pure gift, of a life that we were privileged to cherish for too short a time. Gratitude this deep is born of the penetrating grace of memories that take us back to another time when happiness was easy.
Now we know a more serious happiness of the heart - a profound gratitude that spills out of us through tears. And this is perhaps the truest form of Thanksgiving there is.