Monday, December 10, 2012

The holidays will never be the same, but....

~ Excert from Susan Apollon’s book, Touched by the Extraordinary, Book Two: Healing Stories of Love, Loss & Hope

"The holidays will never be the same again," she says. "That is true. But life is change, by its very nature. Little by little you will form a new identity and learn to connect with your lost loved one in a different way. You'll form new memories and new traditions. Grieving well can lead to spiritual growth, which means that life itself can become richer and fuller after a profound loss. You'll never forget the person you lost, but you will find joy—even holiday joy—again."

Realize that miracles really do happen at the holidays. Here's the thing about the holidays, says Apollon. They really are magic. You knew this as a child but may have forgotten it. But spiritual occasions like holidays allow us to step outside the box we live in most of the time and let miracles in.

"Paradoxical as it sounds, grief and holidays are a lot alike," she reflects. "They both help us detach from trivial things and focus on what's important, what's real. Open your mind and heart this year and see what happens. Maybe you'll feel a sense of connection with your loved one who passed on, or maybe you'll feel joy for the first time since your loss. Either one might qualify as a miracle."

"It's healthier to feel the sadness and loss than to detach yourself from it," she says. "It's right and normal to grieve; just don't make it the dominant part of who you are."

Remember, says Apollon, the holidays won't always be such a struggle. If you work through your grief instead of repressing it, you'll find joy again.

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