Looking for Some Reasons to Celebrate After Mom Passed
Dear Bonnie: I know it’s a time to give thanks with the holidays coming, but for me, I seem to feel alone and isolated. How can I turn my sad heart into a time of rejoicing? It’s hard to watch others with their families when I am feeling down in the dumps even though I am happy for them. But since my mom has passed, I feel there is no reason to celebrate the holidays. I feel like hiding until they are over. This is not how I want to feel. Any suggestions? -- Carmen
Dear Carmen: This time of the year can be hard on many people, especially those who have lost someone close to them, and if they were a big part of the holidays, it could seem daunting to say the least.
Losing a parent or someone we love who is no longer going to be with us on these special days can take a toll on our hearts, as we remember them sharing these times in past years and know they physically will not be here this year. I wish I had a magic wand that could take the sting away from losing someone, but there are no magic words that would ever make you forget them, and there shouldn’t be. Even though the holidays can be tough, they are meant for sharing the love of family and friends who are here or in heaven.
Instead of hiding, try to give thanks for all the memories and years you did have with them, finding joy and gratitude for having them in your life and sharing that love with you. Love is a blessing. Try getting through the holidays by finding something you are grateful for each day. Be a blessing to as many people as you can throughout your day, and it might make your burdens a little less. They might be hurting like you. We never know what someone is going through.
If you need to talk to someone, open up to friends or co-workers and explain how you are feeling. We are here to show each other compassion and sympathy, and we are never alone.
If your mom had a special prayer she would say before the holiday meals, say that prayer. Bake the same cookies or bring out her picture and place it next to you at the table. Include your loved ones in heaven in your activities -- they love it when you honor them.
This year, at my family Christmas party, I am going to do something similar. I sent out an invitation and asked everyone to bring their favorite pictures of loved ones to be displayed with a statue of an angel and a candle burning bright. It’s my way of honoring my loved ones and asking them to join us in the festivities!
My dad loved to dance with me, so I am going to play a special song for him and ask my husband to dance in honor of my dad. These little things we do to invite everyone together here on Earth or in heaven are what keeps our hearts from feeling alone.
Give of your time or donate to those who have less. Be a blessing when you can. It doesn’t change how much you are missing your mom, but it sure does fill your heart. Know in your heart that your loved ones never really leave, and especially not on these special days. Do good deeds and know they see you and are so proud.