Page 11 - 2017 Autumn-Winter Issue
P. 11

Plan ahead. Grieving people often experience a lack of         colored glasses and change the way you look at things. Joy
concentration. Make lists. Prioritize everything. Decide what  happens when we look for it!
is really important to you.
                                                               Buy a gift for yourself. Wrap it, but don’t hide it! Just when
Listen to yourself. As you become aware of your needs, tell    you think you are going “off the deep end”, open it up and
family members and friends.                                    enjoy.

Ask for help when you need it.                                 While you are buying a gift for yourself, buy one for your

                                                               loved one as well. Wrap it up and give it away to someone
                                                               who might not otherwise have a gift. Pass on the love you

                                                                                                    shared together and it will
                                                                                                    never die.
Take care of yourself physically. Eat right. Exercise (or
at least watch someone else). Gift wrap some broccoli.                  Find the gifts of your loved
If nothing else, jog your                                               one’s life. Think of all the
                                                                        “gifts” that your loved one
Instead of bringing warmth, love,memory!                                gave to you.... joy, safety,
                                                                        laughter, companionship,
Change something.                 and excitement, the holiday season    compassion. List these “gifts”
Everything has already             can be a painful reminder of the     on strips of paper and keep
changed; so don’t be afraid to      empty space at the table, of the    them somewhere close to
change some traditions. But        terrible hole in the family fabric.
don’t toss out everything this
year. Keep some traditions.
You choose which ones.

Leave the word “ought” out of this holiday season.             you. Some may put them in a gift box while others may

Hold on to your wallet and charge cards. You can’t buy         decide to place them in the stocking. Some may decorate
away grief, but you might be tempted to try.                   the tree with them or simply keep them in a memory book
                                                               or in a secret place. But, wherever you place them, know

Don’t deny yourself the gift of healing tears. Understand      these small strips of paper hold treasures far beyond our
that heartaches will be unpacked as you sift through the       capacity to understand. They hold tangible evidence that

decorations, but so, too, are the warm loving memories of someone lived. It is a reminder that we did exchange gifts
                                                               and that we still have those gifts, even if our loved one has
each piece.
Share your holidays with someone, anyone! Ride the ferry, died.

visit a soup kitchen or nursing home, spend an evening at Live through the hurt so that joy can return to warm your

the bus station. There are lots of lonely people who could     heart!

use your love and caring.                                      Our loved ones have died. We did not lose them or the love

Work at lifting depression. Take responsibility for yourself. we share. Practice thinking and then saying, “My loved one
                                                               died,” not, “I lost my loved one.” Our loved ones are still and
We cannot wait for someone else to wrap up some joy
                                                               always will be a part of us. We cannot lose their love. Even
and give it to us. We have to do that for ourselves. Think
                                                               though death comes, love never goes away.
of things you enjoy and give yourself a treat. (Cookies are

often therapeutic!). Take a nap!                               May you find the gifts of joy and the memory of love given

Hang the stockings, place a wreath on the grave. Do            and received. These are the treasures of your life. May you
whatever feels right for you and your family.                  rediscover them again and again. Whatever holidays these

Light a special candle. Not in memory of a death, but in       are for you, may they be manageable and may love be what
celebration of a life and a loved shared.                      you remember the most.

Learn to look for joy in the moment. Get a pair of rose-

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