Dealing with Grief and Loss This Holiday Season

During this holiday season, there are many reminders of love, and the air is filled with the anticipation of new memories. Everywhere you look there are commercials and shows reminding people to cherish family during this holiday season. The joyful songs are played in every store and the sparkly holiday lights are gently wrapped around every tree and every standing structure making the “joy” of the holiday somewhat inescapable.

In the midst of all the love in the air, I often think about those who have lost loved ones, and those that see this time as an internal conflict between choosing tears of sadness and joyous memories. While some people are smiling, others wish to see that loved one once again. Somewhere inside, their only wish is to open up a Christmas gift and have that loved one pop out like a Jack-in-the-Box.

For those for which this holiday is difficult, rest in the fact that you can keep your loved one’s memory alive through laughter and happy stories. Share your memories. Tell their story. Your loved one is all around you. Feel their love. Do something with the family that would put a smile on their face if they were watching down on you from heaven. Collect all the stories from your family members and record them for your future children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. The memories only die if you let them.

As long as you have memories, you have them. So, try to smile, feel their love, embrace your family, and find some comfort in the fact that they are still alive through you. And if you need to, cry! It is sweet medicine for the soul. And, hopefully, every holiday will get a little easier for you and your family.

It may never make sense, but someday you will smile again. Until then, don’t let go of your faith or the wonderful memories.

These are my prayers for you.

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