At our November meeting, Daisy Catchings spoke on “Coping with grief through the Holidays.” For those of us who have lost children, the holidays are like walking through grief’s minefields. Daisy suggested that we write a letter to our family about how we are doing. Writing can be very healing. It is also helps us to keep from “stuffing” our grief. Try to talk about your grief. Understand others' discomfort in not knowing how to express themselves and with their discomfort with the grieving process during what is their most joyous celebration. Additionally – try to understand our child’s siblings desire for "normal" Christmas. When making plans - plan tentatively and allow ourselves the flexibility to “opt out” of attending events. Find ways to incorporate your child in the holidays – such as volunteering in a soup kitchen in memory of your child, take a meal to a home bound couple in your child’s memory or adopt a family to buy presents for. It is also important to be kind to ourselves, and to be patient with our limitations.
Grief is a reality that must be recognized and respected. Grief is a major wound - Cry if you need to and define your boundaries. Say “NO” if you need to – give yourself permission to say “No, I will pass”. Grief is exhausting hard work, especially through the holidays, nurture yourself, and network with other people who are grieving. Rethink your holiday shopping habits – try online to help avoid the crowded malls and lower your stress and anxiety during this time. There will be good days and bad days.
Linda Stirling made an ornament for each mother who attended the meeting. She made translucent star ornaments with our child's name, reminding us that they are with the Lord celebrating each day. Since the star is translucent, light will shine through it just as the “light” of our child can shine through. If anyone missed getting an ornament you can email Linda or me with your correct address so that Linda can mail one to you.
January 12th 2013 is our next meeting. Nancy McConlogue will present "Writing a Blessing," a guided session on God's desire to bless and for us to bless others. Please pray as to three verses you will bring to use for your blessing. Let Him guide you to the verses which may not be the favorite ones we always turn to.
We continue praying for each of you during this difficult season. Please let me know if there is anything we can do to help you during this time.