By Deborah Cross Werner
Somewhere around April 2018, fourteen months after Jamie’s untimely death, I started to slide into a hopeless state of mind and felt a heavy veil of depression surrounding me. I was watching the Today show where a woman told her audience that she had suffered something very traumatic. She claimed that she was so depressed she considered suicide but then decided to write down one thing each day that she was grateful for. So I found a journal and started writing one thing down I was grateful for each day. No matter how big or small and there were days when I simply stated “I am grateful for nothing today.”
Of course many of my entries are very personal but I will give a few examples:
I am grateful for my Bethesda cardinal, he sings outside my bedroom window every morning;
I am grateful for the lush green grass after an April rain;
I am grateful for Stephen offering to stay home with me for the NFL draft, when his good friend is having a party. (I told him “no” I would be asleep before it even started);
I am grateful for Halo taking naps with me every day;
I am grateful that my two angels on earth went to happy hour with me last night because they were concerned about me being alone with Rick out of town;
I am grateful for Jamie’s country music list marked “for Mom”;
I am grateful for a walk to Jamie‘s bench on a sunny spring day;
I am not feeling grateful today;
I am grateful for a caring loving family;
I am grateful for my children’s fantastic friends;
I am grateful that Rick loves walking to Jamie’s bench;
I am grateful when my children accompany me to visit Jamie‘s grave;
I am grateful for Stephen getting a promotion;
I am grateful for going to yoga with Morgan (only once, though!);
I am grateful for Morgan and Andrew having dinner with us;
I am grateful for a walk on the beach with Rick;
I am grateful for my Boston family of 30+ walking for Jamie in the Shatterproof 5k in Boston;
I am grateful for a sweet mother in law and supportive sister in laws;
I am grateful for my dogs and the way Stephen has taken over Jak’s care;
I am not feeling it today;
I am grateful for my 4 siblings and all their children;
I am grateful for the cardinal I saw outside my beach house today. Perhaps I have a Bethany cardinal now;
Of course I have much more to be grateful for. Sometimes we just need to think about it. And of course I am so grateful that I had 27 years with Jamie. He touched so many people and meant so much to so many. He is my angel in heaven.
I am also grateful for these poems.
And if I go, while you’re still here
Know that I live on
Vibrating to a different measure
Behind a thin veil you cannot see through
You will not see me
So you must have faith
I wait for the time when we can soar together again
Both aware of each other
Until then, live your life to the fullest
And when you need me,
But whisper my name in your heart
…I will be there
– Emily Dickinson
Happiness is like a butterfly:
The more you chase it, the more it will elude you,
but if you turn your attention to other things,
it will come and sit softly on your shoulder
– Henry David Thoreau
We are greatful to have someone with so much
love and compassion in all our lives.
Your strength,passion, and perseverance are an inspiration to all of us.
We all have our good days and bad days but if you can find the positive in each day shame on us if we can not.
Keep it up. Jamie as well as your whole family are in our hearts and minds!
We have so much to learn from reading about your grief journey. You reminded me of the importance of gratitude each and every day of our lives. I believe “naming gratitude” is really key. Thanks for sharing your tender heart Debbie.
Crossie you are the universal guru some days. Keep discovering you brave one, and I thank you for sharing. And I look forward to hiking to Jamie’s bench next time on way to NC. Love you.
I am grateful for our friendship💕 and I am grateful for this blog which is so personal, thoughtful, and heartfelt.
Your honesty is so moving and so beautifully expressed