I am often puzzled when people express gratitude for something bad that has happened to them or their loved ones. They might say something like, “I learned so much from [insert challenging experience here], and I am grateful it happened because I am a stronger person because of it.”
Well, I’m not grateful for Eli’s cancer and death. It’s a horrible thing that I would never wish upon anyone to watch a child suffer and die like that or to be that child who suffers.
What I am grateful for is what I gained from the experience. I hope I am a better person. I hope I’ve learned to feel more compassion, forgiveness, and love for others–I certainly have felt more love and forgiveness from other people. I hope to make fewer mistakes and to be quicker to make amends.
It was a sacred experience. During Eli’s illness, dying, and death, my home became holy ground. Heavenly and earthly angels were a constant presence as we struggled. I came to know God’s love in the depths of my sorrow, grief, and pain. I am grateful Eli no longer suffers and that he is with God.
For this, I am grateful.