Thursday, November 14, 2013

Grief and Gratitude – Day 14


Yesterday I discovered I was unable to be mindfully grateful in the midst of profound sadness.

Following some mental wrestling over what I could TRY and be grateful for, I simply sat with my sadness and didn’t try to pretend I felt anything otherwise, after a friend reminded me that sometimes all we can do is take the next breath.

And today a young friend of ours took his last breath.

Ironically Ibrutinib, a drug that may have improved his chances for survival, was approved by the FDA for use with mantle cell lymphoma this morning. But it came too late for him.

L died a little after 8amPT.

Late last night and even earlier this morning, on what we felt was the glorious news of FDA approval, I felt torn on what to hope for today.

The selfish part of me wanted to hope for a miracle recovery.

Yet the part of me that is slowly getting comfortable with death as a natural process (and the part that sometimes imagines the what-ifs of my own early demise) was only hopeful that L be at peace.

Friends gathered in the hospital and spent some time sharing amusing memories and, although I’m half a continent away, I know many of the stories, many of the people sharing and I can feel the energy of the room.

Laughter was shed as readily as tears. Celebration and mourning were conducted simultaneously.

While profound sadness and gratitude could not coexist yesterday, I find that the dichotomy of grief and gratitude can live harmoniously within me today.

And today I am profoundly grateful for two things:

The opportunity to have known such a unique character in life & the cathartic power of tears.