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Heartlinks Grief Center, a not-for-profit community-based program of Family Hospice, assists grieving children, adults, families and groups move from grief to growth through individual and family counseling, support groups, and other community programs.



There are so many emotions stirring when a loved one dies:

Overwhelming sadness, loneliness, anxiety, anger, confusion, worry,

And, of course, grief.

But what about gratitude?


Is it okay to admit gratitude when your role of caretaker ends,

Or your partner doesn’t have to suffer any more indignities

Or continue to experience the loss of her cognitive ability,

Or that her chronic pain is finally over?


You may have had to watch your loved one die an inch at a time

Over the course of many months or even many years.

You were grateful if she still knew your name

And was always happy to see you.


In my experience, my partner was diagnosed with cancer,

And she died three weeks later.

Stage four metastatic lung cancer–neuroendocrine carcinoma.

Very aggressive rare cancer.  She never even had a chance to fight it!


We didn’t have enough time to say goodbye

And express all the love that was in our hearts.

But she didn’t have to linger and still had her dignity.

I was grateful in that respect.


In my humble opinion, as caretaker of a loved one,

We do the best we can with what we know at the time.

And I firmly believe that it is acceptable for us to experience gratitude

When their soul is no longer trapped inside a broken body.


Don’t be ashamed or beat yourself up

If you have felt moments of gratitude following your loved one’s death.

It’s okay to be grateful,

And it doesn’t mean you love them any less.


It means you are human!



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