The Grief in Our Gratitude

We settlers call it “Thanksgiving.” They who were here before us call it “National Day of Mourning.” We remember noble natives sharing fruits and labor, a table spread, wisdom given. They remember 12 million massacred by those who feasted at their table and came wanting more. 

We sought our freedom at any cost. They paid it. As we sing of gratitude, they lament of grief, lost identity, murders and disappearances every day of every year of one more native woman. One more native womb is darkened, one more native voice is silenced.

So, as we lift our prayers this Thanksgiving season, let us pray for the silenced and the unborn. Let us pray for the earth that is soaked in native blood spilt from our broken souls. Let us weep for a nation built upon the graves of those who taught us to live on a land that did not want us to steal her from beneath their feet. 

And when we have prayed and wept well enough, may we listen deeply and long enough to hear that rising voice ten million strong, singing, “We are still here. We are still here. No thanks to you.”

Published by Shea

Shea Darian, M.Div. is a family and grief educator, spiritual care provider, and award-winning author of Doing Grief in Real Life (Nautilus Award; IPPY Award) and Seven Times the Sun: Guiding Your Child Through the Rhythms of the Day. Shea is the creator of the Model of Adaptive Grieving Dynamics, published in the journal Illness, Crisis & Loss, Vol. 22(3), 2014. Books on family spirituality include Sanctuaries of Childhood: Nurturing a Child's Spiritual Life (Foreword Book of the Year Award) and Living Passages for the Whole Family: Celebrating Rites of Passage from Birth to Adulthood (Nautilus Award; Next Generation Indie Book Awards).