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Some ideas for Practicing Gratitude After a Loved One Dies


1. Recognize the little things

In the book, Learning to Laugh When You Feel Like Crying (Goodman Beck, 2011), The author suggests a simple way to move towards being grateful after a loss:  “Tomorrow morning, before you get out of bed, think of at least one thing that you are thankful for. And then, when you get out of bed, start writing down all the wonderful things in your life:

•        The friends you have

•        A rainbow

•        Flowers in the park

•        The cookies a neighbor brought you

•        A cup of tea

•        Those are just of few little gratitudes that can keep you afloat while you are in a sea of grief.”

2. Find one thing each day

Being mindful of the blessings in your life can help you move through your grief with a more purposeful outlook.

Make a gratitude jar. Put a jar in a place where you will easily see it every day. Then every day, write down one thing that you are grateful for and place it in the jar. When you have a particularly rough day, empty the jar, and read through all the things you have written.

At the BEST, you can only control what you’re doing right now, on this day.  The past is gone, and the future may not go as planned. 

Have gratitude for today, and work on what you need to accomplish as efficiently as possible.

3. Write a letter of gratitude

But you might also want to note some of the bigger things for which you are grateful. For example:-that the deceased was in your life-the lessons you learned from them-that their spirit still lives within you.

The deliberate act of writing a letter to express all that you are grateful for and having your loved one who died in your life is very healing. Write down everything they meant to you and how they helped mold your life, memories, or attitudes. You can express how much you loved and appreciated them. When you’re all done, consider sharing it with someone you trust. If you prefer to keep your letter a sacred part of your grief journey, read it aloud to yourself, then place it in a drawer for safekeeping. 

In conclusion, living in grief and gratitude is not about being grateful when someone we love dies. The concept is more deeply rooted in being grateful for the time that we had with our loved ones, while being thankful for the memories that remain with us after their death. Practicing living in gratitude allows us to heal from our pain and suffering and is a transformative way of dealing with loss. Feeling gratitude won’t erase your grief, but it can make the process much more manageable. Learning to practice gratitude takes time and perseverance- but it is life-changing once you figure out how to make it apply to you. 

•        Source:

how to practice gratitude when you’re grieving step by steps

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