A Gratitude Walk

A Gratitude Walk

by Andrea Tam

There are many ways to process loss. 

Natalie lost her son, Daniel, in a car accident. She was overwhelmed with grief and could barely function. For weeks, she would lay in bed and grieve for her beloved son.  

One day her husband suggested she go to the park. Natalie had always loved the park near their home. Her family had spent a lot of time over the years there. When her children were young, they would meet their friends for playdates. She used to get up early in the morning and run through the park before going to work. On the fourth of July, her family walked to the park to watch the fireworks.  

The park represented good memories. 

Natalie decided to walk through the park. She remembered how much Daniel loved playing on the swings when he was little. She let the tears stream down her face, and she kept walking. Natalie noticed a flock of ducks flying over a nearby pond. She pulled her phone out of her pocket and took a picture of the ducks. Natalie had always loved watching a flock of ducks flying together. She noticed that when one duck fell behind, the other ducks would slow down to let it catch up with them.

She thought about how her life had stopped after Daniel died. She felt her flock, her family, flying forward while she tried to keep up. Natalie thought about how her husband had slowed down to care for her and held a space for her. She hoped to catch up with them someday. She was grateful she was a part of a flock that supported her at this time in her life.

That evening she posted her duck photo and wrote about her flock. Her posting received a lot of comments. It felt good to share something with others.

Every day for the following year, Natalie walked through the park. She called it her gratitude walk. She named it.  She gave the walk meaning.  She walked until she discovered something to be grateful for and uploaded it to Instagram. Some days it was easy to find her gratitude. On other days, she struggled to find it. On one particularly challenging day, she cried while she walked, walked, and walked. 

Where was her gratitude today? She wasn't feeling it. She managed to calm herself down by taking several deep breaths. Then she asked herself, "What is my truth today?" Natalie stopped walking, cleared her throat, emptied her mind, and repeated, "What is my truth today?" 

What Natalie knew to be true was that she loved Daniel with all of her heart. Then it dawned on her. She said aloud, "I am grateful to have loved Daniel with her whole heart. That's it, and it's my truth." She scrolled through her camera roll, found a picture of Daniel, posted it to Instagram, and walked home.

Natalie has continued for daily gratitude walks. The walks through the park help her process her loss and connect her to a community.

There are many ways to process loss.  Just like Natalie taking walks thru her local park.  If you or someone you know is processing loss, consider a gift box filled with positive rituals, care, and love.  Sometimes, the simple act of giving one of our gift boxes helps someone find their way of processing loss.  

Thank you for reading,

 
Andrea Tam

Founder @ Robiins

Processing loss. One gift box at a time.™

 



Andrea Tam
Andrea Tam

Author




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