A Simple Thank You

General / General : Eleanor Haley

If you read ‘What’s Your Grief’ with any regularity, you probably know that we usually dedicate Friday’s post to our ‘Friday Favorites’.  I’m sorry if you came here looking for your weekly fix of grief related articles, but frankly I don’t feel like writing that post.  There’s a different post I feel compelled to write and I hope you will take a few minutes to read it.

Litsa and I make a big deal about the concept of ‘gratitude’ and its capacity to offer perspective in even the worst of life’s hardships.  When it feels like a tornado has ripped through your life, there is something hopeful and empowering about slowing down, looking at the wreckage, and taking stock of what is still standing.  So, when life gets us down, we try to be grateful.  Sometimes we do a good job…

Two things I am grateful for, rolled into one: My quirky neighborhood and public art.

And sometimes we’re kind of terrible… but we try.

Grateful everyone will understand I didn't feel grateful enough to come up with a gratitude yesterday

I had a sad night last night.  I know it’s starting to seem like I’m perpetually sad, but honestly this has just been bad winter. I expect to make a full recovery as soon as the sun starts staying up past 6pm. Anyway, as I’m oft known to do when I’m down, I spent the evening watching TV and clicking through nonsense on the Internet.

Somewhere about 57 webpages into my hapless meandering, I happened upon a comment by some anonymous being saying the blog they’ve found most helpful in their grief is ‘What’s Your Grief’.  My small heart grew three sizes in that moment and I immediately felt, you guessed it, grateful.  I sat back and thought how much I wished I could find words to express to you, our readers, just how humbled we are that you have opened your broken hearts to us so that we might have the opportunity to help.

When Litsa and I started this blog, we had no money (still don’t) and very little know-how, but we had a hunch that we could approach grief in a way and with a style that was unique to us. We hoped people would respond, but we had no idea if they would. Many days we thought:

I dunno.

Probably not.

We’re kind of weird

Maybe a few people will read… That’s enough.

We never dreamed we’d receive the amount of support we have. Your comments and words of encouragement mean everything to us.  We revel in every acknowledgement we receive; not because we are hungry for praise, but because it means maybe we’ve made someone’s burden an ounce lighter. Since the very beginning, not a day has gone by that we haven’t been grateful for every page view, every comment, and every ‘like’ because behind them is the hope that grievers are finding their way out of the darkness.

I never understood the impact that writing this blog would have on me. I never imagined I’d be set upon my own journey where I would learn many lessons and find greater peace and understanding for my own personal grief.  I am not the same person I was when Litsa and I started this blog a year ago and I am so extremely grateful for that.  My eyes have been opened to things I had never previously seen and I have felt love and connection with complete strangers.

Anyway, I just wanted to take this opportunity to express a simple thank you because today I am grateful for you.

Let’s be grief friends.

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17 Comments on "A Simple Thank You"

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  1. Shirley  August 14, 2016 at 3:01 pm Reply

    Dear Eleanor and Litsa I am so grateful for your blog which I discovered a few days ago. It is directly responsible for making me see my incredible anger at a family member was misplaced. Thank goodness I didn’t voice it and that I realized that he is coping and grieving in his own way. It has lifted a huge burden from my heart and saved me from causing an unrepairable rift. It feels like narrowly avoiding a car crash. What you are both doing is an enormous service to humanity. Thank you.

  2. Vicki  September 7, 2015 at 7:21 pm Reply

    Not feeling too grateful today other than for being alive.
    The only thing “standing” after what happened to Eric and almost 3,000 others was two beams in the shape of a cross. When I first saw it in an article I thought it was a mockery of what had happened at the World Trade Center, not a symbol of hope. Sort of like I thought to myself “You (God) watched while it happened and did nothing to intervene in the lives of all the people who died (one of whom was 2 years old.) Then when both towers have fallen and people are looking through the rubble for the consequences of this deadly action, there are two beams in the shape of a cross.” It felt like a mockery.
    When my victim advocate told me that the way the courts will do the trial of the remaining terrorists who have evidence against them placing them at the scene of the crime, so to speak, would feel like a revictimization I thought she was exaggerating.
    After 14 years, and still we’re in the PRE-trial phase I think she was making the understatement of the millennia. It feels like a second and almost worse subjugation of the victims’ families to drag this thing on forEVer and neither side (defense or prosecution) cares what their damn niggling over the case’s details is doing to the families.
    I’d be grateful if these jerks in law would start the trial of the remaining people who plotted and helped finance this ‘planes operation,’ which is their name for it. It’s hard enough to ignore the fact that someone who helped murder your loved one gets to have life, a certain amount of liberty even in prison and the pursuit of happiness; especially when all those things were taken away from the people they killed.

    I’m grateful I found Grief Recovery Method bc there they call the ‘anniversay’ of a loved one’s death a tragi-versary. One of the founders invented it after having to watch all day what was happening on September 11.
    Other than that I’m feeling the weight of living. It’s a song by a band called Bastille.
    They have this song called Pompeii and another called Things We Lost In the Fire. The latter is about the Lord of the Rings trilogy but I always think of what I lost to a fire.

    • Litsa  September 8, 2015 at 6:24 pm Reply

      Vicki, you bring up such an important point about the devastating emotional strain delays in the legal system can cause. Your case is far more extended than most, but working here in Baltimore I know many families of homicide victims go through years of trials (or waiting for trails) that make it incredibly hard to move forward. I am glad you have a victim advocate. I hope you also have support from a counselor and/or a support group, as I imagine the weight of what you have been through and continue to go through all these years later due to these delays, is immense to manage without support. I am glad to hear the Grief Recovery Method has also been of a support.

  3. Sylvia  September 4, 2015 at 7:53 pm Reply

    Thank YOU for this. It’s saving my sanity this summer from hell. And I’m able to share you with others because of that. The pebble in the pond goes far beyond its center.

  4. Litsa  March 9, 2014 at 1:29 pm Reply

    I am so sorry for the loss of your mom and hope you were able to do something nice to remember her on her birthday. I know those ‘special days’ can be so tough. I am so glad that you found us and that you have found a fantastic therapist – that can make such a HUGE difference!

    Thank you so so much for wanting to support our site with a donation. We currently don’t have any way to donate, but we actually are looking to do a big upgrade to our site and grow our resources, so we may be putting together a donation option or kickstarter in the near future. If we do we will certainly share in a post and on social media, so stay tuned. Thanks again!

  5. Dani  March 8, 2014 at 10:49 pm Reply

    March 5th would have been my mom’s 63rd birthday. I lost her very suddenly & unexpectedly last summer, and was turned on to your website by a friend who works for Victim Support Services (a non-profit that serves family and friends of violent crimes). My grief has been up and down, mostly up (due in large part to a fantastic therapist), but this is exactly the post I needed this week. Some weeks it’s hard to find meaning or gratitude in my loss, and one of the things I appreciate most about this blog is that honesty. Thank you for all that you do.

    Also, I know that your post was not a call for donations, but is there a way to donate to your website?

  6. Jolene Thibedeau Boyd  March 1, 2014 at 6:53 pm Reply

    Thanks for sharing your pain…we all know everyone experiences it, but it’s easy to forget that even those who support us need support, too. You two are awesome and I am so glad I found this website , through some “random” post by an “acquaintance-in-high-school-and-now-Facebook-friend”. Funny how things happen… I just love reading your posts, and the posts within your posts, and so on! 🙂

  7. Eleanor  March 1, 2014 at 3:38 pm Reply

    Thank you guys!!! Like I said, you are all awesome. We’ll be here for as long as you need us.

  8. Bonnie  March 1, 2014 at 10:21 am Reply

    I too am grateful for your blog. I am in the beginning of my dark, dark journey and have virtually no hope in what’s left of my heart after losing my son 6 months ago. To know you’re not crazy but in a sense you are, allows some comfort. To say out loud what we’re all thinking is enormous. Thank you.

  9. Cindy  March 1, 2014 at 9:55 am Reply

    The love of my life passed away on December 15th….I am so lost without him, making my way through this journey day by day. Your website is a constant source of comfort and inspiration. I am grateful that I found it. Every post I read here helps me to understand that I may be lonely but I am not alone…and I’m not crazy. Thank you.

  10. C N Hiatt  February 28, 2014 at 10:56 pm Reply

    Thank you. Your posts have helped me.

  11. Tammy LeNeve  February 28, 2014 at 7:37 pm Reply

    I am grateful for your comments & posts. I have depended on your website & others to help me. The past 7 months since my husband’s unexpected illness & death have been very difficult for me. The nasty, cloudy, & dreary winter weather certainly hasn’t helped any. Your website & others have helped me know that I am not alone in my grief. That there are many others going through the loss of a loved one.That how I am grieving is normal. That I am not crazy or in the process of losing my mind. I am grieving & it is a normal process that we all do but not necessarily in the same way. Again thank you for being there!

  12. lol  February 28, 2014 at 6:03 pm Reply

    I am more grateful for your website, dedication, quirky sense of fun and humour. A very grateful follower

    Much Love

  13. Kathy  February 28, 2014 at 3:22 pm Reply

    My husband and I needed to get away from the ears coast bitter cold. We are in warmer weather. My grief is with me, however, the distractions of change of scenery distracts my mind from rambling over and over what ifs? I wish I had a million yesterdays for one tomorrow with my son again. How I miss him.

  14. Kiri  February 28, 2014 at 2:20 pm Reply

    Thank you! Your posts make people feel less alone in their grief and the little insights you give into your lives also tell us that grief can and does live alongside and inside a life that is also full of lots of other emotions including hope and joy.

  15. Stephanie Root  February 28, 2014 at 1:57 pm Reply

    This is the only website and email service that has felt like home to me in my grieving. Thank you so much.

  16. Becky Livingston  February 28, 2014 at 1:54 pm Reply

    Thank you for your honesty, your vulnerability and all your hard work. I am grateful too 🙂

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