Dear CAKE users and friends:
The holidays are a time when we reflect on the things that matter most to us in life. For many of us these are our relationships with the people closest to us. We travel long distances, re-connect with old friends, exchange phone calls and news, and eat hearty meals together.
We pause and take in a birds’ eye view of where we are in life, re-centering on our values and where we’re headed.
But holidays can be difficult too. When a loved one is ill or struggling, sometimes the thought surfaces, against our will, “Could this be the last Thanksgiving we spend together?” It brings a new urgency to the present. The emotions of gratitude and joy, loss and grief, can’t always be separated, and that’s ok. While the holidays are a particularly powerful time for these reflections, we remember that every day is an opportunity to tell our loved ones how grateful we are for their presence.
We also remember those who we have lost. Often people don’t feel like it’s right to grieve at Thanksgiving, afraid it will dampen the holiday spirit. But, as the author of this article eloquently captures, we should give each other permission to do so:
“…when we grieve we feel how much the love is between ourselves and those whom we lost. When we feel that love, we are grateful for that gift. They go hand in hand. I am as grateful for the grief as I am for the love.
As I watch my students prepare to go home for Thanksgiving day, I inevitably think that the holiday involves a journey, a long journey in fact for many Americans. It would be good for us to think, … that Thanksgiving marks a pause on that bigger journey, life’s journey, where we gather for a moment with loved ones to count our blessings.
If tears should fall, it will be for all of our blessings, those with us and those who have gone ahead.”
If you are grieving this holiday season, please take care of yourself and observe it the way that feels most right to you.
We at CAKE would like to express our deep gratitude for the stories you have shared us with over the past several months: stories of husbands, wives, mothers, sons, friends, and many others who you want to help live as well as possible. You understand what we’re about.
We wish you and your loved ones a heartwarming Thanksgiving!