The Gratitude I Feel Even Through the Grief of Losing My Son
I admit I find it extremely difficult to be grateful since my son’s demise. Though, if I’m to be completely honest, I lacked gratitude even before his demise. How do I know this? Because my son would often turn to me and say: “Attitude of Gratitude, Mom” in his very loving and gentle way. I am grateful for his tender reminders.
My son was one of the most grateful people I have ever known. No matter what amount of pain he was in, no matter what difficulties and challenges he faced, he could always find something to be grateful for in the midst of it all. He was the type of person who rarely ever asked for anything. Yet, when he was given something, he overflowed with Gratitude. It wasn’t usually expressed in any verbal expression, but it was unmistakably visible in those big blue eyes of his. It was a joy to give him things because he never expected nor demanded anything. A big hug was his “thank you.” Oh, how I miss those hugs.
The night before he died, he grabbed me in the kitchen and hugged me so tightly and just wouldn’t let me go. I even dropped my arms to my side at one point thinking, “OK…enough already.” If I had only known that would be the last hug from him I would receive. But I am so so grateful for that hug! That hug has continued to sustain me many many nights over these past 18+ years.
In my grief, I find there are things for which I am grateful for. First of all for the time I did have with this wonderful person. His love and respect for me lifts me out of the mire of despair when I am feeling as if I am the world’s biggest loser. If someone like him could see value in a person like me, then somehow I’m not the complete and utter “screw-up” that I sometimes perceive myself to be. If God in His wisdom picked me to be the mom of such a wonderful person, to entrust my guidance and parenting with such a precious human being, He must see something in me I do not see in myself. For such a wonderful person as my son to value me as his mom is humbling. What an honor was placed on me to be his mom. And for that, I am eternally grateful.
I am grateful for all the beautiful memories I have of my son — memories of heartfelt laughter, memories of heartfelt tears. The gratitude I have in my heart for everything he added to my life is inexpressible. He taught me the meaning of kindness simply by being himself; he taught me about caring for those who are often turned away from for various reasons; he taught me that every human being has value. He always had time for everyone, even if it cost him personally. His strength in confronting wrongdoing was noble. He feared no man for he was always seeking truth. His faith and trust in God were unshakable.
Jude’s book, “Gifts from the Ashes,” is available at Direct Textbook.
Follow this journey on Jude’s website.
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