Someone dies, we pause, mourn, and somehow move on, though nothing is ever the same again.

Loss: I know it quite well. Gone from me are my husband, my sister, my young nephew, both of my parents, countless relatives and friends, too…

Well-meaning folks said things like,” I’m so sorry” and “You’re in my prayers.” Then there were those who claimed, “I know just how you feel,” but didn’t. Another likened the death of my husband to the travails of her having to move to a new house. Then there was the colleague who, soon after the fact, said, “Get over it.”

I didn’t and won’t.

Meanwhile, an online search about grief and the holidays offered up such suggestions as:

  • Saying a prayer for the loved on before the holiday dinner and/or in your place of worship.
  • Lighting a candle for your loved one.
  • Sharing a favorite story about them.
  • Chatting online about them.
  • Creating an online tribute to them.

Consider, too, journal writing, leaving get-togethers early as needed, keeping company with good friends, making new traditions, avoiding negative people, retreating when necessary, exercising a bit, eating well most of the time, settling in with a good book or simply watching television. Whatever brings comfort.

And not just during the holidays but moving forward.

Says psychologist Judith Murray, “We’ve got this idea that you get over your grief, but [instead] it becomes a part of who we are.”

That is the price of love, or to quote Dr. Seuss, “Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened.”

With thanks and good wishes, Carol