In November many of us take the time to focus on what we are thankful for. I want to propose something many who are grieving often don’t think about: Remember to also give thanks for all that YOU have accomplished! Awareness of how you are doing is an important part of the grief journey, so take the time to thank yourself for being you, no matter where you are on your grief journey. Thank yourself for your own accomplishments that you have worked hard for because you have earned them.

With loss comes change, and this can be incredibly hard. At COJ, we encourage those around us to have patience with themselves in the midst of so many difficult changes. If it feels like you are able, give thanks for the loving memories of what was, and try to embrace the new memories that come with change. Finding joy in change can be difficult and new; have patience and seek help if you are struggling.

Sometime in this busy month that will likely contain some challenging moments filled with holiday memories, take time for yourself. Close your eyes, take a few deep breaths, and relax in the moment. Listen to the world around you as you breathe and feel the textures around you. Reflect on what you have been through and where you are now. Thank yourself for your work, no matter how small it may seem. Give yourself the gift of grace.

– Elizabeth Harvey, Social Work Intern