At the time of year when we traditionally pause to give thanks and reflect on the things we are grateful for, I often feel like a bitter person. I feel like everyone else is so full of gratitude, even amidst pain and loss, and I am just…not.
The truth is, I am grateful for so much. There are so many aspects of my life that are good, and I am so lucky. I grew up in a loving family, I have an education, I have a close relationship with my sister, I have wonderful parents, and we are surrounded by other loving family and close friends. I have my cat, my good health, and a lot of opportunities. But, the really difficult parts of my life sometimes just cloud my brain. Boris is dead. My best friend, the person I thought I’d spend the rest of my life with…he is just gone. And he killed himself. And the aftermath of that sort of traumatic loss just colors everything else gray. And, my dad has a progressive disease that will eventually kill him, but before that, it is unbelievably hard. Every day is full of frustration, guilt, and worry. He is not the same person. I grieve him even though he is still alive. And it just seems to suck out the “luck” I feel about all of the good things in my life.
I think it was Nora McInerny who once said the phrase, “lucky and sad”. I feel that. I know I am lucky. I am lucky to have been loved by Boris. To be in his presence, even to exist at the same time as he did. I am lucky to have had that kind of relationship that drove me absolutely mad. The kind that brought me to tears out of love and rage. The kind that I was so sure of–I was so positive he was my person. I am so lucky. And, I am lucky to have a dad who made me Mickey Mouse pancakes and cheered me on in everything I did. A dad that was gentle and loving, and was always there for his family. I am so lucky.
Maybe that is why grieving them both, in such different ways, is so hard. I am so thankful to have had these people. I am so thankful for their love. And I am so, so sad and bitter that they are not here like they used to be. That my time with them was cut short, and that it has changed so much. I am thankful and lucky and yet so, so angry and not thankful at all.