Gratitude in grief is a bit of a difficult subject. So many people say thinks like "at least you can have other children" or "Be grateful for the children you have" or "look on the bright side." They seem to think that finding gratitude or being thankful negates the pain and grief. Too many people use these phrases or others like them whenever you are grieving and bring up your children. And the not so subtle message is that you aren't being grateful and you don't have a right to feel this way.
There were days right after our loss that I actively sought something to be thankful for. Sometimes I found it and sometimes I didn't. Other days, I wasn't trying to be grateful, I just needed to grieve. I needed to spend time talking with someone about my daughter, about how I felt, about what I missed, and sometimes just doing that helped relieve the pressure of my grief.
Even now, a year out, while I can find things to be thankful for, I still have trouble finding things to be grateful for in this loss. But there are a few: 1) I have never so tangibly felt the presence of God as I did the night Abigail was born and a few hours later when we gave her up, to never see her again; 2) I have been grateful for the women who reached out to me, and shared their stories and let me know I wasn't alone; 3) I am thankful that others haven't acted as if I have nothing to grieve, so many women in the past were treated as if their baby didn't exist and so there should be no grief; 4) I am thankful that I was able to hold her and see her. I can only imagine how much harder the loss would have been if we had an early miscarriage, at least I got to see her and know she was a girl. I can only imagine how much harder the loss was for women years ago,who's baby was taken and they never got to see them.