Remembering Loved Ones
by Saundra Berry, C.Ht.
With all of the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, many are faced with their grief of loved ones that have made their transition. The holidays remind us of friends, family and loved ones and we long to see them again. At times, the grief can be debilitating and often we wonder how we can possibly celebrate the holidays without them.
I understand this because on Christmas Eve, 23 years ago, I lost my mother. It was a difficult time, losing her, it seemed even more difficult because she passed on Christmas Eve – and her birthday is Christmas day. Those first few years, I was grief stricken. I have memories of scheduling my vacation during the holidays so that I could be alone with my grief. However, I had a friend that I so loved and admired and her birthday was on Christmas day. She is a woman of great strength, fierce love and integrity and her family would invite me over to celebrate her on her birthday—this was such a blessing in raising me up out of the darkness of my grief during the holidays.
As the years went by, I learned of a wonderful tradition from a beautiful community of women that taught me to set up an altar in my home. I decorate it with the season’s colors and flowers, display pictures of loved ones who have made their transition, celebrate them with loving, happy, memories, and light candles to honor them. I spend time sitting in silence, sometimes looking through family pictures and reliving some heartfelt memories of them. It truly has brought more peace in my life. I learned of this tradition more than 20 years ago and now it is part of my holiday tradition, as well as with others that I have shared it with over the years. I found that remembering the “life” of my loved ones, rather than how they died, was the best way to honor them.
If you are suffering in grief for those who have made their transition, know that my heart goes out to you and I send you love, light, and healing. I ask you to think of the happy times you had with those that have crossed over and find a way to honor them that feels right for you. Our loved ones are free from pain and suffering, their spirit soars higher, with each fond mention, prayer, or thought of them. Although they are not with us physically, I believe that they are always around us in spirit. Take time during the holidays to remember them, to honor them; their life, not their death. As you remember them in kind and loving ways, know that they are with you at that very moment. Remember, even though our loved ones have crossed over, they want us to LIVE the LIFE that we have been given; to celebrate the holidays, and all days, with gratitude, love, appreciation, joy, abundance, with family, friends, and loved ones.
May you know joy, may you be surrounded in healing light, and love, may you truly know that you are never alone and that your loved ones are with you now and always. Celebrate your loved ones and YOUR LIFE!
Many Bright Blessings!
Saundra Berry, C.Ht.
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