Between grief and thankfulness there is a space. That space is today.
Yesterday we buried my mother-in-law, committing to the earth a woman who is remembered for her sparkle and her sass, her practical goodness and her deep love of family. My wife, with the strength and composure that are her signature gifts, represented the family with a beautiful eulogy in which she reminded us that her mom’s death was no tragedy, coming as it did after a long struggle with Alzheimer’s.
Our grief is as much for Marion’s death as it is for the years we lost to a disease so merciless in its thievery of the simple joys of recognition, remembrance and connection.
Tomorrow we will share in a Thanksgiving feast, the preparations for which are already underway. We will celebrate our family, near and far. We will celebrate our opportunities and our relationships. We will be mindful of how much – and it is so, so much – we have and, perhaps in that recognition make a new resolution to share it more generously than we have before.
And what about this space between? What about today?
Between the depths of our grief and the height of our thankfulness we live another day, both replete and unremarkable. Like every day, it contains all of it. Whether we choose to see it or acknowledge it, it is with us; the losses we mourn, the gifts we celebrate. All are contained in this single day.
We are always leaving behind and we are always moving towards. We are always losing and always gaining.
This space between? This is now.
And it holds everything.