These are a few of the quotes I found when I Googled “Thanksgiving.”

“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them. “ John Fitzgerald Kennedy

“Let us remember that, as much has been given us, much will be expected from us, and that true homage comes from the heart as well as from the lips, and shows itself in deeds.” Theodore Roosevelt

Lord that lends me life, lend me a heart replete with thankfulness.”
William Shakespeare

If you are preparing the Thanksgiving meal in your home you may have already ordered your turkey, purchased the sauce, the glaze, the chestnuts, the cider and assigned various menu items to invited guests. It is a time when everyone participates in the food preparation. It is a fun time of year for family and friends to come together and to look forward to the Christmas, Hanukah, and new year celebrations, as well as remember those we may have lost and cannot be with us this Thanksgiving. However, they are remembered in our hearts.

Thanksgiving can also evoke unresolved conflicts in a family. Although old injuries may be remembered, the holiday may be an opportunity to repair or let go of old injuries. A woman I have been seeing in couple’s therapy and who has been married twenty years, could not forget the time her sister-in-law failed to invite her and her husband for Thanksgiving dinner when they were newly married. It caused a rupture in the relationship between the husband and his sister which has continued to this day. We spent time in the session talking about how old injuries can fester and how they may represent earlier unresolved conflicts in a family which can get replayed over and over again. This allows an opportunity in the therapy to try and help the couple heal some of the old wounds and perhaps repair some of their earlier losses.

Dianne Heller Kaminsky, LCSW, BCD

Got thoughts or opinions on this topic? A helpful anecdote you want to share? Feel free to leave a comment below.

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