Self-Healing Expressions
grief rituals, holiday memorial
Bringing the self to healing, one lesson at a time.
  grief rituals, holiday memorial

The First Year of Grief: Help for the Journey

A Different Grief:  Coping with Pet Loss

Grief Rituals ~ Holiday Memorial


The First Year of Grief: Help for the Journey
The First Year of Grief: Help for the Journey

Understand the nature of grief and loss and their potential impact on all aspects of your life: physical, financial, emotional, social and spiritual. Learn how to move through grief actively and make the process of mourning a healing one. Find support and guidance in dealing with the many facets of grief.

Learn More Now! [Audio Message by the author]    

Including Your Absent Loved One in Family Celebrations
By Marty Tousley ©

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 Self Healing Expressions

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Holidays and special days can be especially difficult for those coming to terms with the absence of a loved one. Even if you wish to pretend otherwise, the person who died will be on your mind -- and on the minds of others -- on special days such as holidays, birthdays and anniversaries. Far better to create a time, a ritual or a ceremony that recognizes your loss and allows the expression of grief. Whether it's with a prayer or a toast, lighting a candle or sharing fond memories, take time in the midst of these special days to acknowledge your loss and remember and celebrate the legacy of your loved one. This can be done alone or with others, and can be especially meaningful for children.

You can use or adapt the lovely candle-lighting service described below. It is taken from Holiday Help: A Guide for Hope and Healing and posted here for your convenience. This book contains a wide array of suggestions on how to acknowledge and remember your loved on holidays and special days. The possibilities for creating meaningful memorial rituals are endless. You are limited only by your own imagination, time and resources.

Marty Tousley is the creator and instructor of the Self-Healing Expressions course The First Year of Grief: Help for the Journey.

Holiday Memorial
By Sherry L. Willliams

For this ceremony, place five candles around a simple wreath, which you may wish to place on a table or fireplace mantel. As you light each candle this year, you may create a new ritual which will become a lasting tradition. We hope this memorial will help you honor your loved one.

As we light these five candles in honor of you, we light one for our grief, one for our courage, one for our memories, one for our love, and one for our hope.

This candle represents our grief. The pain of losing you is intense. It reminds us of the depth of our love for you.

This candle represents our courage - to confront our sorrow, to comfort each other, and to change our lives.

This candle is in your memory - the times we laughed, the times we cried, the times we were angry with each other, the silly things you did, and the caring and joy you gave us.

This candle is the light of love. As we enter this holiday season, day by day we cherish the special place in our hearts that will always be reserved for you. We thank you for the gift your living brought to each of us.

And this candle is the light of hope. It reminds us of love and memories of you that are ours forever. May the glow of the flame be our source of hopefulness now and forever. We love you.

© Copyright 2002 by Sherry L. Williams. All rights reserved. This memorial is from Holiday Help: A Guide for Holidays and Special Days by Sherry Williams. Used with permission and gratitude. Sherry now offers a DVD entitled: Holiday Help Memorial Program.