Honored Social Butterfly

Thanksgiving Grief: finding gratitude when you're anything but grateful

Just read this blog entry and thought others here might find it useful. 🙂


A snippet:


"I know the dread for the holidays can color the lens through which we see the world, keeping us fixated on the loss and pain above all else. I know I am looking through a gray, dingy lens these days and I have a strong feeling I am not alone. So today the plan is simple: gratitude. It only seems appropriate, with Thanksgiving around the corner, we work on changing our frame of mind by looking for the good. It may sound cheesy or hokey or whatever, but here is my promise to get my holiday season off to a better start: I will share one thing I am grateful for every day. From tomorrow until Thanksgiving I will probably spend some time overwhelmed by stress and generalized holiday gloom, but I commit to taking at least a few minutes every day to reflect on the things I am thankful for.


This isn’t huge, it isn’t crazy. It is downright attainable. And it works. We have an incredible ability to fixate on the negative (you can even read about our negative bias, from an evolutionary perspective). Breaking up all that negativity with positive thoughts about the people, places, and things we love can be a refreshing and much-needed shift in thinking. Looking for gratitude slows us down. Instead of rushing past the little things, it encourages us to take the time to appreciate and savor them. It helps us re-frame things for ourselves – looking at the positive, instead of the negative."



Read the entire piece here:


And be well. 🙂


"The key to success is to keep growing in all areas of life - mental, emotional, spiritual, as well as physical." Julius Erving
Honored Social Butterfly

Such great advice. Thanksgiving is hard when

you don’t feel like you have anything to be

thankful for. Wishing everyone on this forum

a great Thanksgiving 🦃

AARP Expert

VERY good points! Thanks so much for sharing. I'm caregiving for my Dad and had a huge meltdown last night - he has Alzheimer's and it's a constant grieving process. The holidays make it all the harder in some ways - difficult to let go and allow ourselves to feel joyful and missing the old traditions. His language skills have sharply declined and he isn't singing as much which breaks my heart. We will puree his turkey this year. 


But on the other hand he's here and we are grateful and pureed turkey is better than no turkey! 


I think it helps to acknowledge the difficult emotions and then I can let them go a bit more and relax and go forward with more calm. 


Here are some of my tips for grieving through the holidays: Dealing with Grief Through the Holiday Season: 10 Tips to Help You Get Through This Difficult Time 


Hope you find them helpful! 


Take care,

Amy Goyer

AARP's Family & Caregiving Expert

Honored Social Butterfly

@agoyer  Thanks a million for adding your wonderful article to this thread. Good, workable ideas!


I especially like 1.) Only Do What Feels Right; 2.) Accept your feelings — whatever they might be; 7.) Give; and 9.) Do something different.


Epster, wishing you a happy Thanksgiving


PS We are experiencing a changing family landscape as well. I guess luckily it's happening in tandem on both sides, so we have each other to lean on, but I so get you on the meltdown. I've had a few of my own in the past three-four weeks. Hang in there. One moment at a time, right?



"The key to success is to keep growing in all areas of life - mental, emotional, spiritual, as well as physical." Julius Erving
Honored Social Butterfly

I find gratitude to be an excellent tonic. It helps deal with grief, true, but it also helps in making a person ready to notice and appreciate the good things that happen each day. 




"The key to success is to keep growing in all areas of life - mental, emotional, spiritual, as well as physical." Julius Erving
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