Goodbyes and gratitude

"Parting is such sweet sorrow that I shall say good night till it be morrow"
This quote from Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet is a good description of our lives right now, when we are down to our two last weeks in Spain after two lovely years in this interesting and beautiful country. 

The sweetness comes from all the great times we have had and from the fact that we make our goodbyes as great as we can with parties (fiestas!) and  meetings of different kinds.

There are times when we do not get a chance to say goodbye, because we did not know the parting would come so soon. We may lose loved ones unexpectedly (Liv och död, I wanna die old,  Only life knows its length) and it is hard to find sweetness in such sorrow.

James Dean supposedly said:
"Dream as if you'll live forever. Live as if you'll die today."
It's a great quote and maybe this approach may reduce the sorrow of partings, but preparing for your own or a loved one's death on a daily basis has practical limitations.

What I apply myself is Daily Gratitude.

Each morning when I wake up, I feel gratitude - not for waking up, I am still at an age where I take that part for granted - but for all the great things I have in my life; my husband, our children, our pets, our extended family and friends. 
It only takes a minute or two but it can change the entire day, your entire life.

There are studies that show that people who pray regularly handle sorrow and disappointment better than those who do not. Since I am not religious I did not use to pray, until a wise man opened my eyes for the obvious.
“You can pray without being religious.”
My praying is not directed to any God. When I feel gratitude, I express my gratitude to life, in whatever form that may be.

This habit ensures I do not take the people and things around me for granted.
When you feel gratitude that a person is in your life you are more likely to let them know, making each meeting with them vibrate with happiness and energy.
If life decides that it is time for parting, your gratitude will have made you more prepared so that even in deep sorrow, you will be able to see the sweetness about having had this person in your life – and having let them know how much they mean to you.
"Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all others." Cicero

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