Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Love Does Not End With Death: Coping Through the Holidays

Love Does Not End With Death: Coping Through the Holidays
Belinda @ Kids Matter

Never is anything related to death a pleasant and easy experience. But… we have to pick ourselves up and get through the holidays. Isn’t that what they would have wanted for us? Chances are your loved one was well aware of your love for them. I think that is the hardest part about grieving, beyond the actual physical missing of them. So many doubts run through your head. You wonder if they knew the depth of your love. You begin to go over every conversation you had with them, every fight, and each argument from small to great. This isn’t grieving. This is doubt, a seed you have planted in your own mind to prevent you from dealing directly with death. So, how do you cope with death over the holidays?

No, I’m not a certified expert, but I do have experience. The first step is allowing yourself to admit that your loved one was well aware of your feelings for them. There… doubt eliminated.  Secondly, your loved one would not want you to grieve through the holidays. They knew, as we do now, that holidays are for celebrating life. And lastly, with that being said, celebrate the life of your loved one over the holidays. Yes, they are gone, but… oh, what a wonderful life they lived and what glorious memories they left in our hearts. This is not the time to shut out memories, smiles, or happy feelings… this is a time for sharing all those wonderful things given to you by your loved one.

Dr. Alan Wolfelt said it best, “love does not end with death”. So, if it doesn’t end with death then we must celebrate love every opportunity we get and holidays are no exception to that rule. Odds are you are going to gather with family that loved this person as well. Take this opportunity to include the deceased in your holiday celebrations. One suggestion would be to have an object that meant something to the deceased at the family get together. Allow this object, or even a picture of the loved one, to be discussed openly among the gathered. Allow people to recall those memories, smiles, and happy feelings. Will this be easy for you? Maybe not, but I assure you, your heart will feel better.

The roughest hurdle in grieving is the feeling that you have to let go of this person you loved so dearly. Why? “Spend time thinking about the meaning and purpose of your life.  The death of someone loved created opportunities for taking inventory of your life— past, present and future.  The combination of a holiday and a loss naturally results in looking inward and assessing your individual situation.  Make the best use of this time to define the positive things in life that surround you,” as Dr. Wolfelt advises. Keep in mind that you were most likely not the only person on this earth to care about the deceased. That means you should connect with those whom you have an eternal bond with through life and death. Don’t push people away because you are in so much pain that just the thought of taking one more breath seems like you are committing a crime against the one you lost. Stop that! The person you lost loved you just as much as you loved them. They want you to continue on your journey through life and be fulfilled by the things in life that made them happy the short time they were with you. Live for them. Celebrate your life and theirs.

Death Came December
Written by: Belinda

Winter comes,
An unforgiving season,
Hazards at every turn,
We are unprepared.

Days grow shorter,
Darkness looms,
Depression sets in,
Minds grow weary.

Holidays come,
Days grow frantic,
Bills pile up,
Stress becomes reality.

Life goes on,
We travel to work,
Accidents happen,
We aren’t prepared.

Bodies grow old,
Organs fail,
God comes to call,
Families left to mourn.

December came,
Took many we love,
Memories it left,
We must carry on.

The hole in my heart,
One day will be filled,
With memories of you,
Until I see you again.

At the Gates of Heaven,
Steadfast you stand,
Your hand guiding me,
Your light protecting me.

Death came December,
Holidays upon us,
Memories heavy,
Heart’s a blaze.

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