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Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Holidays and Loss

"Our grief always brings a gift. It's the gift of greater sensitivity and compassion for others. We learn to rise above our own grief by reaching out and lessening the grief of others".
-author unknown

For those who are grieving the holidays can be a especially difficult time.
And all to often , grieving people are isolated because of our fear of doing or saying the wrong thing. Even if you say the "wrong thing", more likely than not the grieving person will only remember that you cared and you were there. The words, in the end, are often inconsequential as long as your intention is from the kindness of your heart.

Please remember grief has no time frame.
If you don't know what to say, simply say ''I'm sorry.''
The words themselves are not important, but convey a sense that you know and care. Remember that love never dies, and the pain will never totally disappear.

I have used many ways to cope since my daughter died, I reach out to others in pain, I volunteer, I give of myself.
I speak her name when I share stories, I remember what a challenge she could be.
I keep photo's of her on my desk, I simply love her still. She is gone, but will never be forgotten.

Don't neglect those suffering in grief this year because your uncomfortable.
Reach out, be the iniatior, take a moment and listen.

Deirdre Lewin, in this newsday article says: "Holidays are supposed to be joyful times, and the comparison between these external trappings of joy and togetherness and the internal feelings of not feeling joyful intensifies the grief and the isolation and the loneliness terribly."

Coping with the holidays link resource

The worst is to say nothing at all. Everyone likes a bit of sympathy or some acknowledgement of their feelings. There isn't anyone who doesn't have someone to think of and miss. I think of my Grandparents, it still seems odd that they aren't here for holidays.

Anyway, I don't think there is anything wrong to say. Anything someone has put some thought and care into is good. Even a good joke! Anything sincere and well meant can't really go all wrong. :)

Today is the Winter Solstice. This is an important day for me, more than Christmas, as I'm not Christian. Though the Winter Solstice is about new beginnings, I always remember people I miss too.

Seasons Greetings and Merry Yule.
It is hardest to go through the special days. We miss them more, remembering when they were here to celebrate with us.

I wish I had words of comfort, but I know only too well that nothing makes our loss better..
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