Saturday, December 11, 2010

Experiencing Loss over the Holidays

 -- Quote of the Day --

“Don’t cry because it’s over, 
Smile because it happened." 

~ Dr. Seuss

-- For the Bereaved --

A shout out to Skye Wentworth who sent a query our way for today's featured guest on this blog. For many of us, the holidays can be bitter-sweet with memories of those we've lost. I am honored to present to you this article by Elissa Al-Chokhachy, which may help us all through some difficult emotions at this time of year. Elissa (MA, RN, CHPN, FT) is a certified hospice nurse with Merrimack Valley Hospice in Massachusetts and the author of Miraculous Moments: True Stories Affirming That Life Goes On. Find today's guest at:

  Holiday Hope and Miracles: A Time of Remembrance

By Elissa Al-Chokhachy

Winter holidays are filled with joy and celebration.  During this time, millions of 
people reverently pay homage to the miracles in their faith traditions and 
heritage.  Others celebrate meaningful relationships with loved ones, family 
and friends.  From festive gatherings, thoughtful exchange of cards, notes and 
presents to charitable gift giving, these activities bring much hope, anticipation 
and promise.  Holiday music magically transports us back through time to 
cherished moments and memories.  And, for those who have lost loved ones, 
this season is a time of remembrance.  It is also an opportunity to celebrate the
special loved ones in our lives who have died.  

Holidays often evoke sadness for those who are bereaved.  Deceased loved ones 
are noticeably missing, and their absence trigger palpable grief, loneliness and
sometimes despair.  Some grieving individuals need to talk about what they 
are feeling.  Others prefer to grieve privately.  Respecting the needs of each is
important.  Rather than getting over a loss, the bereaved need to learn how to
live differently in an altered world.  Things have changed.  Providing a supportive, nonjudgmental environment encourages the validation of thoughts and feelings. 
Working through the feelings of loss and grief is a necessary step in the healing 

During this holiday season, look for ways to honor beloved family members and
friends who have died.  Light a candle in remembrance.  Say a prayer.  Share 
funny stories.  Look at photographs.  Listen to favorite music.  Hang a stocking 
and invite guests to place messages inside.  Make a charitable donation.  Visit 
special places where memories were shared.  Journal thoughts and feelings.  
Offer thanks for blessings and lessons learned.  If needed, ask for forgiveness 
or say “ I’m sorry.”  Give thanks for your loved ones’ presence in your life.

Never be afraid to cry.  Tears are good.  They are a physical release of grief and

sadness.  Remember, it is important to work through the pain of loss in order to
return to happiness again.  Take it one day at a time, one hour at a time or one
minute at a time, if necessary.  Pray for strength, guidance and clarity.  Be gentle
with yourself.  Get plenty of rest.  Don’t forget to laugh and have fun. 

According to Robert Frost, “
Hope does not lie in a way out, but in a way through.”
Enjoy this season as an opportunity to move deeper into emotions where the
miracle of hope can be found.  May the warmth and caring of others bring you 
comfort.  May the winter bring you rest and renewal.  May the miracles of this 
holiday season bless you with healing, hope and peace.

Find Dave and Lillian Brummet, excerpts from their books, information about their radio program, newsletter, blogs, and more at: 
* Support the Brummets by telling your friends, or purchasing a book - each book sold raises funds for charity as well!

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