Archive for the ‘Holidays, anniversaries, special occasions’ Category

How Do You Deal with Holiday Grief? Follow Your Heart …

Thursday, December 15th, 2016

Christmas lights_Christmas words on packageHoliday grief – two words that, when placed together, have the power to bring tears, fear, anger, pain, sadness, love, and a host of other responses.  Knowing the power and effect of those two words, if you’re grieving, how do you deal with holiday grief?  (more…)

Don’t Be Afraid to Give Sorrow Words

Tuesday, January 12th, 2016

Stormy Dark Sky with Glimmer of Light on MountainscapeWhen I read an especially meaningful quote recently, I could not help but think about the holiday season and the struggle it ushers in for anyone who is grieving. Yet, it’s not just about the ‘holiday’ season, but the meaningful times we experience throughout the year. All of these times are especially tough for anyone who is grieving. William Shakespeare penned the insightful phrase, “Give sorrow words; the grief that does not speak whispers the o’er-fraught heart and bids it break.” Grievers are often so self-conscious about the possibility of their feelings spilling out unwillingly or unexpectedly that their dread of special days intensifies even more.

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Simplify — Holiday Tips to Help Grievers

Friday, December 12th, 2014

thXQSE07I7Holidays conjure up a myriad of memories and emotions for each of us, but when you’re going through a painful time of grief and loss, the holidays can be especially challenging.  In a guest blog I wrote for Fairhaven Memorial, I share a few simple, practical tips to help you find peace and experience moments of joy in the midst of your sadness.

The entire article can be found through the link below.  I hope you’ll take a few moments to read and consider these suggestions to ease your stress and help you to experience the best from the holidays this year.  Feel free to share the post with anyone who may benefit.

Here’s the link to the article:  Simplify

© 2014 Judy Brizendine

Photo Credit:  Photo courtesy of office.microsoft.com

 

Tips to Reduce Holiday Stress When You’re Grieving

Friday, December 20th, 2013

evergreen trees covered in snow, stars, magical winter sceneI was invited to write a guest post for Fairhaven Memorial’s Grief Blog.  The title of the article is “Reduce Stress by Focusing on Realistic Expectations.”  The holiday season is stressful for most of us, yet when you’re grieving, even more anxiety comes to the surface.

I hope you’ll click on the link below and read the entire article.  Perhaps you also know someone else who would benefit by seeing the article — and you’ll consider sharing it with them.

Wishing you a peaceful and blessed holiday.

Here’s the link to the article:  Reduce Stress by Focusing on Realistic Expectations

Photo courtesy of bing.com

Grief and the Holidays

Friday, December 13th, 2013

glowing candles amid greeneryGrief and the holidays are especially difficult — and there’s just no getting around it.  Even when your loss was sometime ago, the holidays bring memories back to life.  With time and healing, perhaps you can look back on those memories with smiles and gratitude rather than the crushing pain you felt earlier – yet emotions seem to be supercharged at this time of the year.

I read a beautiful article written by Katherine Ingram about her experience of grief and the holidays.  The thoughts she shares are similar to my own.  I could identify with her heartfelt (and wise) words, and I hope they will speak to you, too.  I asked her permission to share the article – and she graciously agreed.

Hope you’ll click on the link to read Katherine’s article.  I think you’ll be blessed if you do.

Here’s the link – Good Grief: The Holiday Edition

 

Photo courtesy of www.bing.com

Mother’s Day — Can Joy and Grief Live Together?

Sunday, May 12th, 2013

Mother's Day_Bright Orange and Coral Flowers_Joy and GriefMother’s Day is here—and while it will be a time of laughter and celebration for some, others will struggle just to get through the day. Can joy and grief live together?

If you’re mourning the loss of your mom, or if your mom is fighting a devastating illness, or if personal heartbreak clouds your celebration of this special day, can you still experience joy wherever you are? I have a few suggestions for you to consider. I know this subject can be very difficult, and my intention is to open your mind to a few things you may not have considered. I’m also going to share a personal confession with you, so please keep reading.

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Stick Up for Hopefulness, Especially During Grief

Thursday, December 13th, 2012

Whimsically painted Adirondack chairs_primary colors_hopefulnessIs hopefulness worth sticking up for?

This time of year should be joyful, hopeful, exciting, and filled with anticipation. But when you’re grieving, the holidays often produce feelings of dread instead of happy expectation. If you’re grieving, what are you supposed to do? Are you doomed to an anxiety-ridden season?

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Coping with Grief During the Holidays

Wednesday, December 12th, 2012

Christmas lights_star_golden color_grief_holidays

Judy Brizendine was interviewed today by Anna Banks for a special show about dealing with grief during the holidays – on the program “Living Fully After 40™ Radio.

Anna also wrote an article for her Living Fully After 40™ Blog today (December 12) about Judy, her STUNNED by Grief books, and the challenges of grief and the holidays.

This time of year, which we normally greet with excitement and anticipation, is extremely difficult for anyone who has experienced the death of a loved one or other types of deep losses. Instead of joy, someone who is grieving most likely is experiencing feelings of dread, anxiety, a lack of energy, loneliness, and an overall sense of being overwhelmed. However, there are things you can do to make your holiday season more manageable—and to carve out moments of  joy in the midst of your grief.  You’ll find suggestions to help you cope with grief during the holidays in Judy’s guest blog article, ‘5 Ideas to Ease Holiday Anxiety During Grief,’ written for the Journeys Through Grief Newsletter.

Check out Anna’s blog to read the article about Judy (as well as a host of other articles dealing with issues we all face) whether or not we are past the age of 40!

(Photo courtesy of office.microsoft.com)

 

5 Ideas to Ease Holiday Anxiety During Grief

Friday, November 30th, 2012

Gold Red Green Christmas Ornaments and Ribbon on Tree

I’m very honored to be guest blogging today for the Journeys Through Grief Newsletter!

I hope you’ll check out the article and share it with your friends, family, and people you know.

People everywhere are experiencing all types of loss—and the holiday season is especially difficult for anyone who is grieving.  This article provides some ideas you may not have considered to ease holiday anxiety during grief. Perhaps by sharing this resource, you’ll be offering help to someone who really needs it now.

We all need hope. And we all need help at certain times.

Just click on the link here to read: Journeys Through Grief Newsletter

(Photo courtesy of office.microsoft.com)

Honor Our Fallen Heroes, Our Military, and Their Families

Sunday, May 27th, 2012

small red cross on sandy beach with worn military helmet propped against itMemorial Day is the time we’ve set aside to honor our fallen heroes who gave their lives for our freedom. No greater gift exists—and no greater sacrifice is possible—than to give your life for something you believe in.

While our military and their families deserve our thanks every day, May has been named National Military Appreciation Month. It’s easy to overlook the daily sacrifices service members and their families make for us, but their sacrifices are real and significant. Check out some ways you can show them your thanks on the Military Appreciation Month facebook page.

Some say that those in the military signed up for their lifestyle. They signed up to serve their country and give their lives if necessary to protect our freedom. But even though they’ve committed to serve, hardships accompany that service. Families are often separated. Children may be born while a father is away. Finances can be challenging when families live in separate locations. Moves can be frequent and unexpected. Communication may be sporadic. Deployments can come up unexpectedly. Pre-deployment training and preparation are stressful. And loneliness is sometimes overwhelming. Add fear to the equation when the service member is deployed to a war-torn area. In addition, a military career includes a certain amount of peril on a daily basis.

I was a military wife for twenty-one years. Those serving in the military are among the most dedicated, patriotic people I’ve ever known.

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Thanks, Mom! I Love You…

Sunday, May 13th, 2012

closeup of thorny green cactus heartThanks, Mom, for so much more than I can ever come close to properly expressing.

I’m so blessed that my mom is still here, but I know this Mother’s Day brings different thoughts and feelings for those whose moms have died. If your mom is no longer here, I hope you’ll take this time to focus on precious memories of her and joyful times you shared, even though you miss her terribly. Remember the blessing of who your mom was (and is)—that you can hold close forever! If she’s still here, then let her know just how precious she is to you.

Perhaps some of you didn’t have the kind of relationship with your mom that you longed for.

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During Grief, Don’t Jump to Conclusions Too Hastily!

Thursday, December 22nd, 2011

Mule peering through slats of white fence against blue sky backgroundHave you hastily jumped to a conclusion during grief (or just in your daily life), later learned you seriously misjudged a situation, action, or person’s intention —  and then realized your rash judgment created a division you could not completely restore? What a devastating realization!

During grief, be aware that emotions run in high gear. And certain times, such as the holidays, can trigger reactions that are uncharacteristically intense. Your thinking may be a bit unclear. So, with these things in mind — stop and think before responding (or reacting) instinctively to whatever situation you meet.

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Stand Firm When Grieving — and Give Hope a Chance

Wednesday, December 7th, 2011

Lone bird standing on large rock with blue ocean in background and blue sky white cloudsMore than any other time of year, I believe our strength is tested the most during the holiday season.

We have high expectations for the holidays, and we naturally think about our loved ones more than ever. We long to be with those we love, and when that’s impossible, we’re sad. I’m no different than anyone else. The first holidays without my husband were especially tough. But I had built a foundation that held me up despite the utter sadness and pain I felt.

Soon after my husband died, I made a decision — and I remember exactly where I was standing when I made it. Making that decision was clearly important to my future and critical to my grief journey.

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Especially When Grieving — Focus on What’s Still Good in Your Life!

Wednesday, November 23rd, 2011

Woman's hands folded on an open BibleWhen grieving, particularly during the holidays, our first reaction is to think about what we’ve lost. Holidays are special (and emotional) times of the year, and of course, our thoughts focus on the people we love. If we’ve recently lost a loved one, or experienced another type of significant loss, the holidays bring pain rather than joy, and anxiety rather than anticipation.

What I’m going to suggest will take conscious effort on your part, but when you change your thoughts — your attitude (and emotions) will follow. This season, when you find yourself dwelling on all that you’ve lost, immediately refocus and think about at least one blessing you still have in your life. And then, another one …

Pretty soon, your thoughts will be headed in an entirely different direction because your mind cannot concentrate on both the positive and negative at the same time.

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Your Attitude — Friend or Enemy During Grief?

Tuesday, November 15th, 2011

Bright blue sky with fluffy white and gray cloudsDo you have any idea how powerful your thoughts are — especially during challenging times such as grief?

It’s not unusual for people who are grieving to start feeling anxious weeks before the holidays arrive. I was just talking with someone who reinforced this idea. Her friend (who has experienced several losses recently) has already been talking about how much she dreads the holidays and knows they are going to be terrible. If she keeps on thinking, talking, and believing this way — her holiday experience will definitely be awful! However, it doesn’t have to be.

Our minds actively work to turn our thoughts into reality. You’ve probably heard of the ‘self-fulfilling’ prophecy. Our minds want us to be right, and through a complex process between our bodies and our minds, we live out our thoughts!

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