Happy Holidays

My family tradition is to celebrate Christmas (the Mass of Christ) and I wish a Merry Christmas to all those who celebrate Christ. I know there are other traditions of faith and festivity and I wish Happy Holidays to all readers according to your customs and beliefs.

Photos by Pixabay

Personal Grief

We Will All Grieve

By adulthood, most people have experienced loss that triggers grief. If you have yet to lose a person or something that means the world to you, then you are probably very young and certainly very lucky. 

Facing loss of another or one’s own approaching death will bring on an overabundance of feelings. Some of these feelings we discussed earlier from Dr. Elizabeth Kubler-Ross’s book “On Death and Dying.” 

These feelings are especially likely to fall on the anniversary of a loss. It might be the actual date but it might also occur on the day of the week or a day that is similar in weather or season. Unexpected grief can be triggered by sounds, smells or sights such as a bird, a flag or a similar face. In these cases, grief comes even on a good day.

Holidays

The holiday season which we are facing now can be particularly painful following a loss.  While there is no single solution some ways that one can prepare or minister to self include the following:

  1. It is okay to say, “No” to invitations and to spend some time alone. Likewise, it is okay to join friends and family and to enjoy oneself even while grieving.
  2. Be honest with those who want to help you and let them know your needs. 
  3. Get enough rest, exercise and a well-balanced diet. Physical wellbeing is necessary for emotional strength. 
  4. Recognize that grief is not an obstacle but a necessary process. It is not an illness to be healed. 
  5. Consult your spiritual mentor or a professional counselor. 
  6. Prepare a way for your loved one to be memorialized such as a special candle or ornament in their honor.
  7. Take advantage of support groups such as those listed below. Often funeral homes offer such services, too.  

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Resources: 

GreifShare (church related) https://www.griefshare.org

Soaring Spirits International (for widowers) https://www.soaringspirits.org

Compassionate Friends (after the loss of a child) https://www.compassionatefriends.org

Hospice https://hospicefoundation.org/End-of-Life-Support-and-Resources/Grief-Support/Support-Groups

Pet Loss – Humane Society or http://www.petloss.com

“The flowers bloom, then wither . . . the stars shine and one day become extinct. .  This earth, the sun, the galaxies and even the big universe someday will be destroyed . . . Compared with that, the human life is only a blink, just a little time . . In that short time, the people are born, laugh, cry, fight, are injured, feel joy, sadness, hate someone, love someone. All in just a moment. And then, are embraced by the eternal sleep called death.”  Virgo Shaka (Saint Seya)

 

Theme photo in title by Pixabay

December

Trees

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The beautiful autumn leaves are gone and the deciduous trees look a bit like skeletons against the sky. 

For many of us, our thoughts turn to indoor evergreens burdened with red and green or multi-colored lights and ornaments.

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Decorations in your home may be blue, white and silver for Hanukkah or they may reflect a different tradition such as the celebration of first fruits which is Kwanzaa. Many European countries celebrate Boxing Day and each in a slightly different way. Ōmisoka is celebrated on the last day of December by the Japanese as the prelude or bridge to the New Year. Ramadan, which is one of the Five Pillars of Islam, may occur in December but will not again until 2030.  

Holidays

Celebrations are very personal depending on one’s country of origin, religious tradition or cultural preferences. We usually call such days “Holidays” whether or not they are official holidays in a particular country. The best way we can demonstrate love, show respect for others and be open to enlightenment is to not only share our values and beliefs but to try to understand those of others.

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 Greetings and Best Wishes

I feel good whether I’m wished Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays or Season’s Greetings. The fact that someone is wishing me well is what is important. To me, the only appropriate response it to wish them well with any words that they have used. It isn’t the word that matters most, it is the thought, the wish, the greeting. When unsure what tradition another person celebrates it does not seem to me that an all-inclusive greeting (Happy Holidays or Season’s Greetings) diminishes my personal tradition, which is Christmas. 

So to the ninety-two followers of “Crooked Creek”  and readers from thirty-five countries other than the United States, please allow me to wish you Happy Holidays filled with love and hope for a kind and peaceful world.