Natural Disaster and Gratitude
As we write this, we are surrounded by wildfires that have collectively burnt more than 140,000 acres of land in Sonoma and Napa Counties. We do not yet know the source of these 12+ active blaze sites but we know that many communities have been destroyed and that lives have been lost.
There is nothing we can say to make this ‘better’ for anyone who is still in harm’s way or has loved ones devastated by the natural disaster. Some of our staff have been displaced so we know first-hand how far reaching the impact will be.
We want our families and our community to know that Santa Rosa Memorial Park is safe. Loved ones at rest here remain undisturbed. With reduced staff we are making it our priority to take care of those we have been entrusted with. In response to what we can do, we are operating on a modified schedule so please call us before coming to visit your loved ones to make sure our gates are open.
In the meantime, we want to offer you some thoughts about gratitude. You may not want them today or tomorrow – especially as you grieve your losses. But, we want to offer them just the same in case, at some later point, they can provide you with comfort.
There are many benefits to developing and practicing an attitude of gratitude. According to the Happier Human website, there are 31 easy to identify benefits. Here are two of our favorites:
Gratitude makes our memories happier
Our memories are not set in stone, like data stored on a hard-drive. There are dozens of ways our memories get changed over time – we remember things as being worse than they actually were, as being longer or shorter, people as being kinder or crueler, as being more or less interesting, and so on.
Experiencing gratitude in the present makes us more likely to remember positive memories, and actually transforms some of our neutral or even negative memories into positive ones. In one study, putting people into a grateful mood helped them find closure of upsetting open memories.m2 During these experiences, participants were more likely to recall positive aspects of the memory than usual, and some of the negative and neutral aspects were transformed into positives.
Gratitude makes you friendlier
Multiple studies have shown that gratitude induces pro-social behavior. Keeping a gratitude journal is enough to make you more likely to help others with their problems and makes you more likely to offer them emotional support.
If you would like to read the entire list, click here.
These wildfires threaten all of us. We hope that you and your loved ones receive all of the comfort and care you deserve.