Saturday, November 17, 2012

Saturday's Sayings - No Holiday From Grief

Saturday's Sayings

No Holiday From Grief

The holidays are upon us and while many of us revel in the joy family traditions bring, for those grieving a loss, the holidays can hold little joy.

So what should we do for those we care about mourning a loss? Do we send cards? Buy gifts? Try to cheer them up?

For starters, it’s important to understand that grief is very individual and runs its own course. It’s not something anyone can control and the bereaved need to mourn their loss at their own pace and in their own time. Holidays are a particularly difficult time because absences are acutely felt and holidays, with established traditions, demonstrate how much life has changed.

One reader, whose family hosted a holiday meal for friends, continued the tradition the first year after his spouse’s death. But he found it too painful and accepted an invitation the next year, changing the way his family celebrated the holiday. Another reader who traditionally hosted the family holidays decided to leave town for the first holiday after her spouse’s death. Instead of taking care of the family with dinner and presents, she went to a spa and let someone take care of her. It gave her the space to recharge and rethink her role in her family and by the second year, she was ready to create new family traditions.

Your support, especially during the holidays, is important. While cards and gifts are thoughtful, your companionship might be the best gift of all. It’s helpful to initiate a discussion and ask the bereaved what traditional activities they’d like to participate in and what they might be comfortable doing. But only ask if you are willing to make changes to accommodate their feelings. They might like to stick with traditions or, they might like to create new ones. You’ll never know unless you ask.

~Grieving Mothers

~Robbie Miller

~via Grieving Mothers


~Star Bright Angels

Do not judge the bereaved mother,
She comes in many forms.
She is breathing, but she is dying.
She may look young,
but inside she has become ancient.
She smiles, but her heart sobs.
She walks, she talks, she cooks,
She cleans, she works, she IS,
But she IS NOT, all at once.
She is here, 
but part of her is elsewhere for eternity.
A Child that loses a parent is an orphan,
A Man who loses his wife is a widower,
A Woman who loses her husband is a widow,
However, there is no name 
for a parent who loses a child,
For there is no word to describe such pain.


~In Memory of Lost Loved Ones


~The Compassionate Friends/USA


~In Memory of Lost Ones


~Love Hope and Dream


Suggestions for Dealing with the Holiday Blues

It is important to recognize it is not unusual to feel sad or depressed during the holiday season or around other special dates -- anniversaries of births or deaths or special occasions. Holidays and special dates can trigger an episode of the blues, feelings of loneliness, depression and melancholy, especially if one is still in an active grieving process.

Here is a list of suggestions to help you cope:

-It's okay to cry.

-Especially if you are grieving, don't (try) to be all things for all people. Learn to set realistic limits on your energies.

-Make time for yourself. If possible, do something self-indulgent, such as getting a massage, a new hair cut or even just taking a bubble bath.

-Call, visit, write or e-mail a long-lost friend, someone who is house-bound, or an elderly relative.

-Get plenty of sleep and exercise.

-Try to minimize drinking and eating. During periods of the blues, drinking can contribute to the depression and the associated guilt.

-Spend time with people who care about you, who are nurturing and supportive. Try and limit the amount of time spent with people who drive you crazy.

-Enjoy free activities:
Walk in the community park
Watch the sunset
Smell baking bread
Browse through books or magazines in bookstores or grocery stores (especially in sections you don't normally visit)
Window shop without buying
Listen to outdoor Christmas concerts
Enjoy Christmas carolers

-Donate your money or time to a local charity. It’s a way of helping those who may have less.

-Keep daily expectations manageable. Set realistic goals, decide what you can comfortably handle, and let your family and friends know about your limitations.

-Realize that each holiday, birthday or anniversary is only one day. Take them one occasion at a time.

-Consider doing something in memory of departed loved ones:
Set up a scholarship
Dedicate a bench or plaque
Plant a tree
Adopt a needy family
Donate money to their favorite cause
Publish an ad in the local paper to remember an anniversary

-Create rituals to remember the loved one:
Light a special candle
Play a favorite song
Hang a certain ornament
Hang a stocking for the loved one in which people can include notes
Listen to music your loved one liked
Write letters or notes expressing your feelings and share them with others if it seems appropriate

-Get out in nature. Walk, hike, or just enjoy feeling the winter chill.

-It's okay to enjoy yourself, to laugh and to have fun. Laughter is healing and is not a sign of disrespect. Think about the person you have lost and try to imagine asking them the question, "Is it OK for me to enjoy myself now?" I think you will discover the answer to be "YES."

-Blow bubbles (it makes you feel like a kid again!)

-Go to or rent an uplifting movie. Some of the ones that always make me feel better are:
"It's a Wonderful Life"
"Miracle on 34th Street"
"Sleepless in Seattle"
"Forrest Gump"
"Apollo 13"
"The Princess Bride"
"Bed of Roses"
"It Could Happen to You"
"Sleeping Beauty"
"The Sound of Music"
"The Wizard of Oz"
"The Full Monty"
"Ever After"

-Buy a tree or plant, then create a ceremony to plant it.

-Look for activities at your local recreation department or community college.

-See a play or a concert at a high school or college. Check your local paper for listings and ideas.

-Attend a church service.

-Attend a poetry reading.

-Start a journal to record your thoughts, feelings and writings -- to share or just to get out of your system.

-Join a health club, YMCA or local park and recreation department for exercise classes.

-Try to keep a cheerful disposition with sales clerks, people waiting in lines, people in the produce section of the grocery store, etc.

-Simple, genuine statements can often lead to conversations. For example, "I need to pick a present for my [fill in the blank]. What do you think of this?" or "What a handsome dog!"

-Keep trying. You may find someone else who is also experiencing the blues and would welcome the chance to talk with a pleasant stranger and may become a new friend.

~Kirsti A. Dyer MD, MS, FT


~In Loving Memory


~Wings of Hope Living Forward


Mother, please don’t mourn for me,
I’m still here, though you don’t see.
I’m right by your side each night and day,
And within your heart I long to stay.

My body is gone, but I’m always near,
I’m everything you feel, see or hear.
My spirit is free, but I’ll never depart,
As long as you keep me alive in your heart.

I’ll never wander out of your sight,
I’m the brightest star on a Summer night.
I’ll never be beyond your reach,
I’m the warm, moist sand when you’re at the beach.
I’m the colourful leaves when Fall comes around,
And the pure white snow that blankets the ground.

I’m the beautiful flowers of which you’re so fond,
The clear, cool water in a quiet pond.
I’m the first bright blossom you’ll see in the Spring,
The first warm raindrop that April will bring.

I’m the first ray of light when the sun starts to shine,
And you’ll see that the face in the moon is mine.
When you start thinking there’s no one to love you,
You can talk to me through the Lord above you.

I’ll whisper my answer through the leaves on the trees,
And you’ll find my presence in the soft Summer breeze.
I’m the hot salty tears that flow when you weep,
And the beautiful dreams that come when you sleep.

Just look for me Mom, I’m everyplace.

~Author Unknown

~via Grieving Mother, Jill Compton


If I listen closely
I can hear the rustle
of ANGEL wings
and know you are
still with us.

~Grieving Mother, Jill Compton

~via Grieving Mothers


Every day and every night,
when you feel the need to hold me tight,
Just blow a kiss into the sky,
for I will be that close by.
In the Heavens throughout the day,
I watch over you and hear you pray
I see you smile and shed a tear,
for you know that I'm still near.

I'm the Angel of your eye,

your Angel in the sky. . .


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