Ten Thousand Days

We Never Know What’s Coming

June 19, 2022

Photo: Johannes Plenio

Day 2853 to Day 2863

A year ago, this weekend, I saw my sister for the last time.  She had been unwell but my family chose denial and missed the preciousness of the moment.  It wasn’t long afterwards that she went into hospital for the next few months.  She never came out again.  Because of Covid, we were not allowed to visit her.  This pandemic has been cruel to everyone who lost someone.

When you are witnessing someone’s illness, I think that if you’re emotionally mature, you will understand that we never know what is coming and so you will begin to make your peace with them.  I’m grateful that I was able to do this.  But, nothing prepared me for the day when I got the call that she had passed away, and there was nothing in place to help me to put closure to her death.  Of course, I have a strong enough spiritual practice that I was able to make my own ritual to help me to make peace with the moment and mark the passage in my own way. 

For the most part,  I’ve been grieving my sister’s death on my own. It hasn’t been a full year yet since she passed away.   I did not anticipate the way that her death would change so many things for me.  How could I?  I’ve never been down this road before.

Yet, her death is just one of the many losses I have faced in the last few years and this has been one of the toughest times of my life.  My grief has layers.  This whole journey of gratitude has been a journey of tribulation, for me.  I began this journey deep in grief, and I chose gratitude as my companion.   I’ve been very ill,  I’ve had a broken heart, I’ve suffered losses in my career, I’ve given up all that I knew, and I have been bereaved so many times in the past few years that I’ve lost count.  What gets me through is the hope that we never really know what is coming.  It could be worse, but, it could also be better.  All we really have is now.  So I work to make peace with what is, by practicing gratitude.

I am grateful that I have a strong faith in my God, and that I’ve had the benefit of spiritual fellowship throughout this time.   I am grateful for all the friends who have stood beside me through this prolonged period of difficult times.   

The pandemic isn’t over but we are just learning how to live with it.  There is war, economic uncertainty and climate disaster threatening our peace.  My wish for you is that no matter what is going on in your life, you, too, will remember that we don’t know what is coming (some of it might even be good).  No matter what, I hope you will make peace with what is, and that you will find a way to choose gratitude.

For what are you most grateful, today?

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