From the Abyss to Gratitude

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From the Abyss to Gratitude

Gratitude is powerful and potent. It can transform a moment of despair into one of love; reach inside & cause a rumble, a light-heartedness, a laugh to bubble up and give joy. My brother, Josh, died on April 23rd of last year and it left a hole in my heart, a loss so deep some days I can barely breathe. The pain covers me in waves of heat & pressure rises from my stomach to my head. I squeeze my eyes shut with a force to transport myself to a time when he was alive & healthy. I squeeze my eyes shut to avoid howling like a banshee with no hope, crumpling to the ground. But if I pause before I reach the limits, I can bring myself back from that ledge at the abyss and give thanks.

 

I give thanks for my hands that caressed his arm. I give thanks for my heart that did not cease to beat when his departure was near. I give thanks for every single moment of my life that brought me to strength to remain with my brother through his illness; no matter the darkness of many of those moments, I give thanks. I give thanks for my voice and my mother’s song. Josue, wouldn’t allow me to sing it to him, the lullaby my mother sang to us as children and even adults. Missing our mother and her warm embrace so full of tenderness and love, the simple, sweet words were too overwhelming for him to bear. Near the end I needed to sing it to him. I do not know if the desire came for him or for me, but he did not deny me and I sang my brother to sleep through tears and the pressure inside me that threatened to swallow me before it shattered me into small slivers.

Duérmete mi niño

Duérmete mi amor

Duérmete pedazo de mi corazón

Duérmete pedazo de mi corazón

 

Este niño lindo se quiere dormir

Háganle la cama cerca del jardín

Háganle la cama cerca del jardín

 

Sleep my boy

Sleep my love

Sleep piece of my heart

Sleep piece of my heart

 

This lovely boy wants to sleep

Make him a bed close to the garden

Make him a bed close to the garden

 

I give thanks for my brother, Josue. I give thanks for the privilege of loving him and being loved in return. I give thanks.

 

No matter the difficulty or pain, gratitude can change your focus and keep you from disappearing into your feelings or from indulging in negativity. Our feelings are valid and normal, but they shouldn’t control us or cause damage. By giving in to gratitude, we can find hope and the strength to carry on.

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6 responses »

    • Awww Les. My intention is not to make you cry, but if you do it’s okay. Sometimes we need to let it all go and the only way is to open the floodgates ❤

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    • I am sure your children will see your song as a reflection of your love for them. Although my mother did not write the words, her voice made it hers and the love made it ours. We’ve been singing it to my 3-year-old niece since she was born and every time I hear it, I am moved. Thank you so much for your sweet words. Love demands action, not just thought. I learned to love by being loved by my mother and seeing her give above and beyond to her children, even as adults. I did not quite understand aspects of its depth until my brother became ill.

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  1. This was a lovely post. How tough it is to see the good in such a tough situation, but it is so true that even in the midst of pain, gratitude could help us to find hope and stay positive. I loved the lullaby, btw. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much! I hope that by sharing, others suffering may find a bit of encouragement. I know it helps me. I feel lighter as I process my feelings and arrange them into words.

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