Healing Grief: Remembering Loved Ones Who Die During the Holidays & New Year
Remembering Ones We Love While Healing Grief
Holiday lights, beautiful decorations, the hustle and bustle of shoppers, snowflakes falling in some areas, vacationers collecting seashells on pink sandy beaches– and, all the while, loved ones may be dying, detaching from life and preparing to say goodbye to their physical attire and their loving families. For some reason, there are so many who die and leave us during December and the New Year — so many whom we dearly love.
Healing Grief – How do we say goodbye to those we love?
For some, the process of a marriage dissolving is akin to the loss of someone or something you have loved and cherished — and will also require that you take the time to grieve and say goodbye while healing grief.
Whether you are presently experiencing — or have in the past experienced- the death of a family member or friend, know that it is extremely important that you stay in the moment with them while you are actually in their presence and, even later, when with others, when you are not with your dying loved one. Staying present wherever you are serves you and your soul.
Being fully present is a powerful gift for you and also for the soul with whom you choose to spend time. If you have a loved one who is in hospice (be it a facility or their home) or who may be in a hospital (or any similar type of caretaking facility), make time to visit. While there, be sure to listen to him or her with your heart and not your head. If it is you who needs to speak (because they are unable to do so), then speak from your heart. If you are there to sit with them, visualize your heart filling with love and then send it to your loved one, while you are in a relaxed state. Energy lovingly sent from one heart to another has the healing power to bring serenity and peace to one who is not well. You may even envision blue-green ocean water gently flowing over their body, washing away all negativity, while soothing and comforting them.
If you are wondering what to speak about, just travel through your "treasure chest" of stored shared memories that the two of you have, picking something light and amusing or something that has heartwarming significance for both of you. Each of you will be healing the other as you speak.
Do not be afraid to gently hold their hand, touch their shoulder or give a hug, conveying your love and compassion. If you are trained in Reiki, absolutely bring this loving healing energy to your family member or friend. If your loved one appears to be confused or having difficulty remembering, then use props, perhaps photos or special touchstones, to bring the recall of special times into the moment.
Whether you are filled with great love or with regrets, be conscious of what you choose to focus on. By focusing on healing grief with memories of warm connections and sweet, positive thoughts, you will feel so much better and even experience healing of your own.
If your loved one is very ill or much older and appears to have stopped eating and speaks of having seen visitors during the night, it is possible they are experiencing a sense of awareness of their impending death and are truly seeing deceased loved ones who may accompany them to the other side.
When you see your loved one, be it your parent, grandparent or child, struggling to live (not eating or able to communicate with you), and your inner wisdom speaks to you, letting you know they are trying to hold on just for you, then use your intuition to know the right moment to speak with them.
Let them know how much you love them and that you know they feel the same about you. In a relaxed but genuine manner, gently tell your family member or dear friend that you recognize they are having a hard time fighting to live, and that if they are worried about how you will be if they leave, they need not worry. By conveying to them that though you will miss their physical presence, you will be alright — especially because you know they will always live in your heart and be just a thought away.
You might even suggest to them that they can give you a sign or two to let you know that they continue to be with you. For some, this might be a breeze that comes up each time you say or think their name. For others, a sign might be the frequent and persistent presence of a visitor in the form of a ladybug, dragonfly, butterfly, feather or cardinal. And, for even others, a sign might be a light flickering or a musical toy or glove starting to play — without anyone turning it on. All of these signs, including turning on the car radio and hearing a mutual favorite song playing, come especially when you are thinking of your loved one or on an anniversary such as a birthday or on the holidays — such as Christmas, the New Year or Easter!
After your loved one has died, how you will remember him or her and healing grief is a choice you make. The choice is yours. Of course, you will miss this remarkable soul. However, by choosing to honor and celebrate their life, you will begin to create healing for you, your family and your friends. Be sure to continue to dialogue with your loved one, sharing your thoughts and feelings.
So often, we continue to lovingly care for our loved ones who have died by visiting their resting place, often making sure it is lovely and in good condition, starting a charity in their honor or creating a foundation or scholarship in memory of them. Funerals can be special way of commemorating their life. Always, always, the choice will be yours. There is healing in how we choose to remember those we love and healing grief..
What I have learned is that grief is a part of life but it is not what we are here for. Be sure to process the pain of separation from your family member, friend, pet or dream. Do this by familiarizing yourself with an understanding about grief, perhaps by reading about it or speaking to a counselor or therapist. (Try reading a book like How to Go On Living When Someone You Love Dies by Theresa Rando.) But, be sure to lighten your grief with levity; humor is a good thing, especially when grieving and healing grief..
Many wish to better understand and have some insight into what the afterlife may be all about. Consider reading books that share the near-death experiences of those who have died, experienced heaven and have returned. For example, Dr. Melvin Morse, a pediatrician, has written books about his little patients and their experiences after they died, as well as conducted impressive research in the area of NDE's. Betty Edie's Embraced by the Light is one of the best described NDEs ever written. Recently, Heaven Is for Real, a young boy’s true story, reached the top of the best seller charts. The Touched by the Extraordinary series also describes and documents the research dealing with life after life. Healing grief…The choice is yours.
Know that grieving takes time. Yet, you are here to heal — rather than carry your grief as a lifelong burden. And, if you so choose, in time you will feel and grow stronger and feel it is alright to release the pain of missing your loved one, healing grief and to remember him or her from the loving core of your heart and inner being with the greatest of joy and gratitude for them.
Love is among the highest of vibrational energies. The energy of love does not die, despite the physical death of the body. Love is the essence of your soul’s energy. Whether you ask or not, your loved ones are with you on anniversaries, birthdays and holidays. Be sure to include them in your thoughts and prayers. Your heart's desires and your thoughts are vibrationally known to the universe. The spirit of your loved one will always be with you — always. Just ask and it shall be so.
Love & Healing,
©2010 Susan Barbara Apollon
p.s. Please share with us how you are processing and healing grief!