My Wish For You This Week - Number 15 (Grief, Showing Up & Small Delights)

Occasionally on Mondays, I like to share a photo or two from my camera roll and a wish for others (and myself) for the week ahead. Since I know that not everyone uses Instagram, I also post them on the Optimistic Anthropology blog because the wishes often focus on themes we’re committed to in our work here - growing our sense of possibility, the power of changing mindsets and reflection, and of course observing the world, it’s beauty, and it’s challenges.  You can also check out previous wishes here.

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My wish for you this week is that when you see someone grieving or struggling, that you are able to show up for them, be there for them, even imperfectly. And along the way, hopefully you both can still notice the little delights of this world. I was visiting my parents this past week, back in the home I grew up in for the first Thanksgiving my family has celebrated since the passing of my Aunt. Thanksgiving is my mom's favorite holiday, but this year was hard. In the past, my aunt would make an extraordinary meal and our families celebrated together. My aunt's absence was noticeable, and my mom felt it profoundly, even as she took up the mantle and hosted the meal at our house. Preparing the Thanksgiving meal proved to be a hard process. Honestly, we were not at our best, it wasn't fun and at times we were not our kindest to each other. But, by the time the rest of our family came over, all the food was cooked (and tasting good), and we were able to enjoy a meal together, even ending the evening packed onto my parents' big couch to watch the Wizard of Oz. One of the things I loved about my Aunt's table was that it was always covered in beautiful fall leaves she gathered on her walks. I was out for a walk in DC last week, and noticed vibrant leaves everywhere. I picked a bunch of them up. I dried them off, pressed them, and brought them in a plastic bag to my mom. She was touched. However, we left them in the plastic bag and by the time we were setting the table, a number of them had lost their color or mildewed. It was okay, we found a small way to have the leaves on the table, and also made some pretty flower arrangements. My cousin (my Aunt's son) even noticed the leaves and let me know he appreciated it. I share this because often people make their family holidays look so perfect. But, for a lot of folks, this time of year is hard - because it brings up stuff about family (the lack of it, the pain of it) and loss. I'm grateful to have the family that I do. Family is amazing, and it is complicated. I try to show up for them, and I'll keep trying to notice the little delights amidst the struggles. #mywishforyou #leave #flower #optimisticanthro

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Let me know what you think about this wish or share your own in the comments below or on Instagram where my handle is @AKGold11