Grief and Gratitude

I loved this passage by Francis Weller:

“The work of the mature person is to carry grief in one hand and gratitude in the other and to be stretched large by them. How much sorrow can I hold? That’s how much gratitude I can give. If I carry only grief, I’ll bend toward cynicism and despair. If I have only gratitude, I’ll become saccharine and won’t develop much compassion for other people’s suffering. Grief keeps the heart fluid and soft, which helps make compassion possible.”

– Francis Weller

There are many moments in my daily life of missing my parents. I am reminded of my mother in so much of what I do, I often think of what my dad would say; my day to day movements are infused with my love for them and my grief that they are no longer living. But I have also noticed that with those thoughts comes a grounded sense of gratitude and I am forever thankful to have received their love and influence. That is, I suppose, the act of carrying both grief and gratitude :)

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4 thoughts on “Grief and Gratitude”

  1. As with all helpful conceptualizations the image of carrying grief in one hand and gratitude in the other is profound in its simplicity, it’s visceral in it univerality. Now you’ve got me on a search to read more by Francis Weller. Thanks Kristine!


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