It seems a bit strange to be thinking about grief on such a joyous holiday, but Thanksgiving’s emphasis on what we are grateful for actually ties in quite well to our grief series. I recently started reading a book by Martin Prechtel called “The Smell of Rain on Dust: Grief and Praise.” It is a poetic book that describes how our deep grief for something is actually a reflection of our values and praise – our gratitude – for that very same thing.
In his book, Martin shares beautiful practices for expressing grief as modeled by the indigenous community he lived with in Guatemala. From his vantage point, our western stoicism is actually counterproductive. We need to grieve and grieve loudly. We also need community who will surround us and support us in our grieving and make it safe enough to really dive into emotions we usually suppress.
So this Thanksgiving weekend, give thanks for your tears. Not only do they tell you what you love and what you are grateful for, they also are a wonderful expression of that love.
And don’t forget to join me for the next installment of the “Growing through Grief” series, which can be found here.