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.
Including Your Absent Loved One in Family Celebrations
By Marty Tousley ©
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.
By Sherry L. Willliams