The moment I experienced gratitude is the moment my healing started– Kim Sisto Robinson
I distinctly recall somebody during my mad, suicidal stage after Kay’s murder making this comment— “You should really consider your blessings.”
I’m like, “Fuck you.”
Okay, I don’t say it aloud, but the words smolder inside my mind like something ready to explode.
Please don’t give advice to a mourning, crazy girl unless you’ve suffered yourself. Otherwise, well, just shut the hell up.
I make no apologies for that last sentence.
It’s taken 1825 days to embrace this new life, this new reality. I mean, the man we ate Sunday dinners with & spent holidays with murdered my sister. Did you expect me to smear on my red lipstick, smile a stupid smile, and proceed as if everything were normal?
Nothing will ever be normal again. I know this to be absolutely true.
Yeah, 1825 days, at least, to breathe, to make an appointment for a mammogram, go to the dentist, shop at my local grocery store, and stop drinking after two glasses of wine without emptying the entire bottle. I desperately want to become an alcoholic to deaden the sting, but I understand early on that remaining sedated isn’t the solution.
The pain will never go away. Once I grasp this belief, I’m able to exhale. Finally.
In those initial weeks, I try to discover light and blessings and a reason for not sliding my head into an oven like Plath, placing stones in my oversized pockets like Woolf, or gulping down multi colored sleeping pills like Sexton. Everything could be so easy, so lovely, so uncomplicated if I could only slip away from the universe.
But my freedom arrives in other ways.
For example, one summer morning while visiting Kay’s gravesite, I experience this hot rush from my head to my painted toes.
A surprising pleasure I didn’t expect, but urgently needed.
Oh, yes, I remember you, sweet joy!
And these exact words form inside my brain like a revelation—–“Kay is not with Mike; she is set free.”
Gold sun falls directly inside my soul; a beautiful poem unraveling.
Because Kay’s emancipation becomes my emancipation, as well.
As Annie Lamott says, sometimes the only prayer you need is this one:
“thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you.”
And that is enough.
—-Dear, Reader, do you have a gratitude journal? Do you find it difficult to give thanks in the midst of darkness? Do you pray? xxXX