Here we are again.
Back to that time of year when Elizabeth died. The memories associated with Thanksgiving overwhelm and engulf, forcing me somewhere I worked hard to get away from.
As much as I’d like to build up walls in my mind and ignore Thanksgiving altogether, I’m learning to lean into the pain, rather than hide from it. I’ve learned that sometimes I need to clench my fists and feel that storm shatter inside of me; I need to give it space to pass, no matter how painful it may be.
It is ironic that my sister died on a holiday that celebrates gratitude. Gratitude is not a feeling that easily surges to the surface during this time of year. But I am trying to change that, I’m trying to re-direct my focus onto gratitude regardless of what’s happened.
When I think about it, I realize how much there is to be grateful for; from living and working in Australia, backpacking through Indonesia, exploring India, to returning back home, to see my wonderful family and friends in Canada.
I’m grateful for each and every person in my family from my incredibly loving parents to my cousins, to my cousin’s twice removed. I’m grateful for my amazing group of friends here in Ottawa who knew and loved my sister, and who know about my past. I’m grateful for my sweet dog and my two cats for their pure, unconditional love no matter how long I’ve been gone. I’m grateful for my health, for music, for the trees for putting on the most radiant display of reds, oranges and yellows. For the man at the grocery store today who gave me a discount on a box of Medjool dates and the delicious piece of apple crumble I just had for desert. For my Mum and my Dad, because I love them more than words can describe.
And always for my sister, Elizabeth…. because no matter how many years you’ve been gone, you’ve still been here in a different way. You’ve immersed parts of your spirit in every aspect of my life, from the faces of old friends, to our local bus stops, to those beautifully colorful trees outside our house. You are always with me and you make me stronger, I love you so much. Thank you for all that you’ve taught me.
To my friends reading this, thank you and Happy Thanksgiving. ♥