Gratitude is a funny thing.
I feel it in two ways. Sometimes gratitude buzzes gently in my fingertips. My body flushes with warmth. I fold into my husband’s arms. My children giggle together in the sand. What joy. What a miraculous life.
Other times, gratitude is an electric shock searing my innards. Breath leaves my lungs. Our car narrowly avoids a collision. Children are gunned down in their schools. I consider how much I have, and—just as quickly—how much I have to lose.
It’s paralyzing sometimes. All this joy and fragility.
But I hold it all. I have to.
Because gratitude and grief aren’t mutually exclusive. They flow from the same source. They feel the same in my body.
Both pump like blood in my ears.
Both make my heart ache.
Both remind me what it means to be alive in this beautiful, broken place.