Practicing Gratitude in the Midst of Grief

Practicing Gratitude in the Midst of Grief

The simple things are also the most extraordinary things, and only the wise can see them. ~Paulo Coelho

*Jane started coaching with me in 2010 or so.  She came into our coaching relationship as a former heart disease patient, just looking to keep up the healthy habits that she’d put into practice after a cardiac surgery ten years prior.  With a clean bill of health and the okay from her cardiologist to simply visit him annually for a regular check-up, her goals stemmed from the desire to support her husband in eating healthier as he struggled with some of his own health issues.  She embraced gardening, got really creative with whipping up interesting dishes from quinoa and millet, and loved to share her new finds with me in the realm of healthy eating.  She struggled with her goal to get to the gym even though she always felt better after going, and…

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Lost in Transformation

Lost in Transformation

May has taken hold in Minnesota with warm temperatures, very little rain and lots of sunshine. The lake is being swallowed up by weeds already, but the birds and frogs are conversing, the wildflowers are holding up their brightly colored arms in triumph, Jack in the Pulpit has returned to the shady parts of the woods and the crab apple trees are flaunting their beauty as only a flowering apple tree can.  Life is emerging and flowing and thriving in every direction, and it shows no sign of letting up.

But in the midst of all this growth and aliveness, there is death, too.  The river has claimed another young life.  A dear friend lost her brother. A family in the community mourns a son.  Cancer took a friend of a friend sooner than anyone thought it would.  The sweet spring air is laced with a sense of loss, and it is jarring to try to find one’s balance as the beauty and vibrancy of a new season sits next to the sadness and grief of death.

We feel for the ones who lost those dear to them in unexpected ways.  We wonder how to give our support, we are unsure of what to say.   We suspect that simply showing up and feeling the enormity of what has happened is what is important, but we don’t have a road map for navigating something that has never happened before.  No one does.  Every death is new, never to be repeated.  Like every birth, every blossoming, every newly unfurled leaf, death leaves us gasping in astonishment.  It shows us the amazement of life, and it shows us the fragility.  It offers these things to us as another’s life passes on into whatever comes next. Continue reading “Lost in Transformation”