Blog Post

A Grieving Heart Can Be Grateful!

Margalita Poletunow, LPC, LPCMH

There is something to be grateful for all the time. However, it is not human nature to feel thankful during difficult or painful situations. Therefore, how can a woman who has suffered a miscarriage or stillbirth find the will to be thankful while still grieving?

And yet, whether it is the Thanksgiving season or not, one must always find something for which to be thankful! While it may not feel so, being grateful can be a step in the healing process. When one is grateful, the heart opens to grow and expand rather than turning into an arid desert as it may be tempted to when someone feels sadness.

So, you may be terrified or anxious about Thanksgiving because you had a stillbirth or a miscarriage. There's nothing to be grateful for, you tell yourself. I would gently suggest that you are right when you remark that you do not feel like being grateful and that it will take effort and intention to find any light at all beaming through the depths of grief.

Thus, while grieving this Thanksgiving, here are some strategies to keep your heart alive:

First, it does not make you any less of a mother or tarnish your memories of your child to find some solace throughout the grief of losing a child or an unfulfilled pregnancy. Expressing thankfulness can be a powerful way to celebrate your child. It can be that ray of light.

Second, being grateful lets you know that you're not alone. God assures you that He will always be there for you. Having gratitude in your life can help you move forward into the next stage of God's plan for you.

Third, expressing gratitude in your life could be a sign that you still have hope, even if it that hope is the size of a kernel. As you learn to be thankful to God in these sad circumstances, this kernel of hope will grow and expand. That's precisely why we are commanded to look forward to Jesus, the hope that lies ahead of us, as followers of God! And in that hope, we have life in abundance.

Finally, gratitude amid grief reminds us that we are more than our feelings, we are more than our circumstances. And there is reason to be thankful as long as we have breath in our lungs. The joy of breathing, walking, or smelling fresh air is enough to fuel the flames of thanks in the heart.

So, this Thanksgiving, ask God for the grace to show you where gratitude lives in your life. Ask God how you might start living - with a grateful heart.

Margalita Poletunow, LPC, LPCMH is a Wife, Mother, Therapist. Visit her @margalitap.therapy and