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Gratitude can be one of the most powerful healing tools we have after experiencing a death loss of a person we love. It may not sound like gratitude and grief can go together, but it is possible to be grateful for relationships and the deep love for those who are no longer with us in physical presence, as difficult as it may be.

Being grateful for memories and what remains after a death loss can be a powerful way to begin healing that emptiness of loss. Turning your attention to how your life was enriched because your person was in it, for example, rather than on the void the loss created, might be one powerful and healthy approach to confronting grief.

Feeling gratitude after a death loss is not easy, and it definitely will require some practice. At first, you may not feel grateful for anything.  

The key is to start small.  

Be grateful for your morning coffee, the stars in the sky, or the leaves changing colors for the season. When you begin to notice all of the tiny things that make up our lives- being grateful for them becomes easier.

Gratitude has the power to help those in mourning rise above their loss. It is life-affirming. It can provide hope. And, perhaps most importantly, it can help us let go of the past and focus on the abundance that surrounds us now.

How can you put this into practice? 

  • Keep a gratitude journal.  Journaling is a powerful and effective way to help with emotions and grief. At the top of each entry, write down something that makes you grateful.

  • Make a gratitude jar. Put a jar in a place where you will easily see it every day. Then every day, write down one thing that you are grateful for and place it in the jar. When you have a particularly rough day, empty the jar and read through all of the things you have written.

  • Give a compliment daily.  A compliment doesn’t have to be anything significant, or even to another person. Compliment yourself.

Every person experiences grief a little bit differently- trust the journey you are on and don’t be afraid to practice a little self-love. 

Feeling gratitude won’t erase your grief, but it can make the process much more manageable. Learning to practice gratitude takes time and perseverance- but it is life-changing once you figure out how to make it apply to you. 

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