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Everyone hurts. Gratitude heals.

Thanksgiving will be hard if we forget to be thankful
Lead Summary
Lori Sorenson, editor

The calendar says it’s time to be thankful.
… for things like a roof over our heads, clothes on our backs and food on the table. … like turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy and stuffing (the homemade kind from Mom’s recipe). And pie.
I’m especially thankful for loved ones, like my husband, our children and our families … and for loved ones in heaven — not because they’re in heaven, but because we were blessed to have had them in our lives.
That’s what I’m learning about grief during Thanksgiving.
There are blessings and there are losses. And the more we’ve loved, the harder we grieve. I’m told it’s especially hard during the holidays, so I’m bracing for it.
Only two months after losing Carson to suicide, the losses are coming into sharper focus:
He won’t marry or have children (my grandchildren) or operate his farm or build his dream home or … The list of losses is longer than the years he was with us.
It could ruin Thanksgiving if I forget to be thankful.
Fortunately, there are many reasons to be thankful.
The grief handbooks remind me to be thankful for memories. I’m thankful I had him for 21 years and have 21 years of memories to savor.
I’m thankful for his colorful personality, his distinct sense of style, his adventuresome spirit and his gift of gab. The kid could talk, and he didn’t mind talking to his mother — even about his troubled mind that we were getting him treatment for.
I’m thankful also that he didn’t mind hugging his mother.
This summer there were many long, meaningful hugs — longer than he would have liked, but I held on as long as he let me, hoping there was healing in a mother’s hugs.
I’m thankful he let me hold his hand during a cool September evening when I joined him on the porch.
It was a rare allowance, so I tightly held his hand and told him God had a plan. That things were going to get better, and he wouldn’t be alone, because so many of us loved him.
He said, “I know, Mom.”
The next day he was gone.
So, am I thankful this Thanksgiving?
Yes. There are tears, but I’m thankful.
For Carson’s 21 years, that he knew he was loved, and that he’s now in the arms of his loving Father, where he ultimately belonged.
I’m also thankful for other grieving souls who have comforted me in their own sorrow. It doesn’t bring our loved ones back, but it helps to know we’re not alone.
Everyone hurts. Everyone has losses. And everyone has reasons to be thankful.
It is my wish for all of us this Thanksgiving that a spirit of gratitude takes the edge off the pain and allows us to enjoy what and who we have today.

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