Gratitude During Difficult Times


Thank You quoteSometimes after loss our hurt is so strong that we think there’s nothing to be grateful for. My existing gratitude practice helped me to look for the little daily blessings during his illness and after his death.

The following is an excerpt from my newly released book, Building A Life You Love After Losing the Love of Your Life.

For many years BD [before my husband’s diagnosis] I practiced gratitude. It’s easy for us to list things in general we are grateful for, but when you make gratitude a practice you begin to look for things to be grateful for in every day, in any situation.

Many times during Phil’s illness my gratitude list for the day included skilled surgeons, caring nurses, and modern medicines. After Phil passed I made a point to continue my gratitude practice. I was fortunate to have lots of friends, a supportive family, and a caring mother-in-law, and to be in a financial situation where I didn’t have to worry about whether I could support myself without him. Despite my personal tragedy of losing the love of my life, I was still richly blessed.

In even the darkest days I could find something to be thankful for. The day the tumor was found I had rushed Phil to the ER and the waiting room was practically empty so they got him in right away. That’s unheard of! Then I was distraught while he was having tests and one of the ER nurses was so comforting and supportive to me.

The day of his brain surgery my mother was able to be at the hospital with me so I wasn’t alone. The doctor called sooner than expected to tell me that the surgery had gone well and Phil was ready for me to come to his room.

All the time Phil and I got to spend together during his treatment, while he was feeling okay but couldn’t travel for work as he usually did, allowed us to grow even stronger in our love and enjoy the cuddling and hanging out together.

The day Phil died friends were there surrounding me with support. My sister came as soon as she heard and stayed with me until after the burial.

Even in the midst of my sorrow there were always things for which to be thankful. I’m so glad I knew to look for them.

  • What about you?
  • What were some things you were grateful for during your spouse’s illness and/or death?
  • What are some things you’re grateful that he or she brought into your life that you carry forward?


NOTE: My memoir, Building A Life You Love After Losing the Love of Your Life is available on You can order a personalized copy by emailing If you’d like information on my speaking programs and other books go to


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