I still remember that day at the cemetery. I didn't want to go. I hated it there. I hated her.... still. Even after 4.5 years. I STILL hated her for what she did to us.
How could she? The kids were 3 & 13. I thought I was her soulmate. How TF could she choose to kill herself?
It was like the car pulled into the cemetery by itself. I never would have gone there voluntarily. I hated it there. It reminded me of how angry I was at her.
I sat in the car. Hysterical. Again. What the heck was I doing there?
I got angry. I got out of the car and let her have it. I let it out. All of it, all of the anger, the hate, I cursed her, I told her how much I hated her.
And then it happened.
I heard her, for the first time since she left us. I heard her say she was sorry and I felt it in my heart.
It was like a wave just crashed on me, a wave of grief, gratitude, and love.
All of the negativity that I was carrying with me for all those years was washed right away with the power of gratitude and love.
At that moment all I could think about was how much I loved her and missed her... and our children. How thankful I was to have our 2 babies in my life... and the 26 years we spent together.
Right then I realized that making the decision to heal, and then taking action, was my only choice at finding happiness again.
I decided to focus on all of the things that I loved and appreciated about Larissa, all of the lessons I learned, and how she changed me, how we became adults together, parents together, lived 26 years together... I decided to focus on gratitude and love instead of grief and loss.
Gratitude can be one of the most powerful grief healing tools we have in our arsenal.
Gratitude helps us see our life situation from another perspective and can lessen the pain caused by the negative energy that comes with grief.
Gratitude can provide a powerful source of healing during the grieving process.
Gratitude reminds us that we can find happiness even when life is painful and gloomy.
Practicing gratitude while suffering with grief doesn’t feel right. In fact at first, it feels wrong.
Gratitude helps us to be present and focus on the here and now. By choosing to focus on the good things we have in the present, it allows us to let go of suffering and the pain.
Gratitude prevents us from forgetting our loved ones by remembering what we still have. Gratitude is acceptance and remembrance.
Neuroscience defines gratitude as a positive emotional response that we choose from the act of giving or receiving a benefit or gift from someone else.
Gratitude can enlighten the mind and make us happier. It has a healing effect on us and can actually shrink the cloud of grief and allow some light to shine in.
Scientifically speaking... The limbic system is the part of the brain that is responsible for all emotional experiences. Studies have shown that the two main areas regulating emotions get activated with feelings of gratitude.
This reduces pain, stimulates normal healthy sleep patterns, reduces stress, stimulates seratonin release, reduces anxiety and depression, and can change the neural structures of the brain, making us feel happier.