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.
Archive for the ‘Holidays, anniversaries, special occasions’ Category
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)
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)
Memorial 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.
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.
Have 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.
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.
When 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.
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!
Coping with grief during the first holidays or anniversaries after the death of a loved one or other devastating loss is especially difficult. Your pain is fresh and memories are tender. Emotions stay close to the surface, and those around you tend to be uncomfortable about what to say, how to act, and what to expect as the day approaches.
Like many families, ours had established traditions that carried over from one holiday to the next. Often the menu stayed the same from year to year, the place and time for the get-together was set, and everyone knew what to expect. Each person even sat in the same chair! Sounds boring, but it’s surprising how many families keep the same traditions over the years. We become comfortable.
After my husband died, the thought of celebrating the holidays the same way we always had — but without him there — seemed much too difficult. His absence would have been especially glaring. Who would sit in his chair? How would we respond to the emptiness?