I cry when I watch Judy Garland sing this song in "Meet Me In St. Louis." I cry when John Denver sings it with the Muppets and I'll cry in this James Taylor version, too. (cue the music).
My holidays are pretty merry and bright this year. I had good news with my biopsy, our Baby Grand was christened, I've enjoyed every minute I've spent with Rick and our friends. Shopping is under control. Cards (finally) got out. Baking is nearly done (and better be by the time this posts!)
But I know more than a few people who are experiencing their first holiday without someone they love and some of those losses are very recent ones. Getting down that road can be tough. There are no easy answers but sometimes there are things that can help us get through the tough days, a holiday survival kit for those experiencing loss.
I've been down that road too. The loss of my dad 24 years ago in December was what led me to volunteer a year later at Ele's Place, a family grief center, where I worked with middle school-aged kids for 10 years. While I was there I learned a lot about managing the grief journey. I'm no expert, but I've walked it myself and I've walked with others. I know the first year is very hard, but that doesn't mean the next ones are easy. But believe. Time may not heal everything but it heals a lot.
We helped our kids and their parents learn strategies to acknowledge their losses, to remember their people -- and in doing so, learned a few things that those of us not currently in grief can do to be helpful.
I've written some of these tips in a post here on Modern Creative Life. I hope if you have time, you'll take a look or share it with anyone you think might benefit from it.
If you are one of those experiencing loss this year -- loss of family, friends, your home or your job -- please know that my heart is with you with wishes that in this season, amidst your sadness you will also find bit of joy and happiness.
It may be in the eyes of a child -- or a beloved pet. In an unexpected gift or act of kindness.
Believe. It will one day be better. And remember, we grieve because we loved. Which, when you really think about it, is the greatest gift of all.
Come back tomorrow to celebrate my tenth blogging anniversary with a drawing and giveaway!
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