Tag Archive | celebrating holidays after a death in the family

And Yet, the Heart Remains…


Two years ago, our Christmas tree abruptly feel down, not once but twice, scattering and smashing ornaments which were treasured by our family.  Sadly, we had to throw away remnants of what we once held as tokens of memories from our past.  It wasn’t easy as when things like this happen, it is hard to go on.  I’m not just referring to broken ornaments on a Christmas tree which may or may not be possible to replace.  I’m also talking a metaphor for life and the holidays.  Because even traditional best laid plans can go awry.

We are given choices to mourn and stay in a sad place or to rise up, light up our heart lights and take baby steps toward the future.  It is not easy to step our of our comfort zones or to remove the victim mentality of this happened to us.  But it is empowering when we do take the baby steps needed to nourish our hearts and be with what is now.  It’s finding The Presents of Presence in every moment, right now and not waiting until tomorrow or later.  It’s filling our hearts with gratitude for the little gifts that life offers at each and every turn.  It’s in grieving and then allowing peace to return to our hearts in whatever new form our lives are taking.  It’s in looking beyond ourselves spherically in order to receive the blessings that are ours by Divine Right.  It is what we need to do to heal.

For as with my Christmas tree fiasco, the heart remains.  No matter what happens, your heart remains and it is your job to treasure it, to nourish it and to embrace your heart and the hearts of others.  Soul to soul we connect as we go through life.  Sometimes it is hard to connect, but it is always possible.  It takes effort.  It takes time.  It takes a willingness to see what others may not see and to come from your highest power to not judge but to simply accept and find the good in life.  To reach beyond ego and to embrace love in all forms.

May you find loving peace this holiday season.  Your heart may feel broken but it is still here.  Fill your heart with love and reach out with a loving soul.  Put aside the broken memories and make new ones.  Find gratitude for The Presents of Presence and being one with your life force.  Take baby steps forward on your journey.  Reach out, my hand is here for you.  I understand.  Remember as Ram Dass once said, “We’re all just walking each other home.”

Shine On!



Have You Ever Felt Like Dumbo?


As the holiday season approaches, I must confess I feel a bit like Dumbo.  Sad, lonely and abandoned.  It’s not that like Dumbo, I don’t have a friend like Timothy the Mouse.  The fact is that I am eternally grateful for the many friends who have stuck by me as my life has changed dramatically.  But I still feel a bit like the scared Dumbo above, lost and lonely.

I think holidays bring up many unresolved issues in our lives and when all are celebrating, those of us whose lives have changed irrevocably have a hard time adjusting to the merriment.  It’s not that we truly want to bring others down to our own low vibrations, but we feel how we feel and sometimes, we simply need a Timothy the Mouse to bring us a magic feather in order for us to see how we can fly.

It’s a difficult season when we have lost loved ones to death or abandonment.  A part of our hearts go with those who leave in whatever form.  A broken heart learns to heal albeit slowly and there comes a time when we have to confront ‘the elephant in the room.’  For my own self, I am struggling quite honestly with how to go about my first holiday season ~ mentally, physically and emotionally for myself and my sons.  It is not an easy transition for any of us and one that I’ve learned is without any rules.  The best we can do is to look beyond ourselves to those around us, keeping in mind that all are hurting as well.  But to have the courage to enter the circus of holiday parties, feeling like Dumbo, is something that I’m honestly struggling with and I am hoping that someone who reads my blog may have the magic feather for me so that, like Dumbo, I can learn to fly.


I know that my situation is not abnormal and that perhaps you have endured this change as well in your life, or know someone else who has survived this type of heartbreak.  I would truly appreciate any and all support, advice and ‘magic feather’ that you can offer at this time.  I know that in my heart, I can endure the holidays with my head held high for my children’s sakes, but at what price to my own self?  I battle with these thoughts and more daily as Thanksgiving approaches and the hubbub of the holiday season and parties begins.

I apologize for such a sad post today.  Usually I am upbeat and try to be inspirational, but I am faltering and now look to your kindness with hopeful yearning.  Does anyone have a magic feather to lend?  I am looking to fly my dear friends.  Any and all help is appreciated and if you feel like sharing any special Timothy advice, I am open and willing to listen and to embrace my strength, my tenacity and my inner love to fly.

Thanks for being with me everyday.  I am so grateful to all of my readers and friends.  May you never let go of your magic feather for we are all meant to fly!

Shine On!



*Credit to the internet for the photos above of Dumbo from the movie.



Bright Lights, Empty Chairs

79142705_My first Thanksgiving holiday without my Dad was made gentler by the kindness of my friend MLAngel who sent a beautiful arrangement complete with candle.  Her message,

“Let there be a bright light and not be an empty chair at your table.”

Isn’t that a lovely quote?  So I will pass it along to your tables this holiday season…may you have bright lights and not empty chairs as well.  Who is living in your hearts?  And when it’s time for you to pass, in whose hearts will your memory be brightly lit?  I think it’s a good thing to think about as we go about the hustle and bustle of life.  I try to Make A Difference every day in a small way in someone else’s life.  It’s not an ego driven sort of difference, it’s just a simple, “I care” sort of difference that it sometimes so subtle and yet so important.

So I light my candle for all who have passed and for those who are missing from your tables as well.  May you remember them fondly, with love and happy memories only.

Shine On!


Changes in Attitude


It’s the most wonderful time of the year!

Do you feel it?  That palpable change in attitude ~ the exciting buzz that the holidays seem to ignite ~ the warmth and generosity of others that increases as the month goes on?  Now that Black Friday and Cyber Monday are over, there’s a lull which feels so necessary to me.  It’s a time to regroup, to figure out the gifts and recipients, to plan and to decorate, to bake and to bring that festive spirit into the lives of others.  As it says above, to me, “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the YEAR!”

On the flip side though, the holidays can be difficult for some as well.  Lonely and alone are hard sentiments to have in your heart.  Those who have lost loved ones often feel the burden of missing those whom they love at the holidays ~ the sadness often overwhelms them at this time as they are surrounded by the living while missing the ones who have passed.  When you’ve been part of a couple and now you’re a single, it can be a difficult transition.  Although others try to keep you involved, ultimately, it’s your deciison of how involved you are in the festivities.

I learned this lesson the hard way when I tried to get my Mom to attend Thanksgiving this year.  She simply did not want to go.  I tried everything, guilt, cajoling, joking, being nice, being stern and demanding and she dug in her heels and refused.  She wanted to spend it alone at home and nothing I could say or do would change her mind.

So, I listened to her heart.  I honored her need to be at home and I modified Thanksgiving to include a small luncheon over the weekend with my Sissy and Mom.

It was hard letting go of what I believed was best for her.  I selfishly wanted memories for our family and for Mom herself.  I wanted photos of Thanksgiving turkey-filled bellies all together watching football.  Instead, we celebrated without her, but with her spirit and my Dad’s spirit in our hearts if not at our table.  I won’t say it was easy to know that she was choosing to not celebrate with us.  But I will say, that I learned to change my attitude and perhaps that was the best gift I could have given to my Mom and to myself.

The greatest discovery of all time is that a person can change his future by merely changing his attitude. -Oprah Winfrey

Instead of being hurt that she wasn’t with us, I relished a leisurely lunch with my Sissy and my Mom.  I enjoyed a meal without hubbub with Mom to enjoy all that she is without distraction.  I let go of what I thought “should be” and embraced what is ~ and it changed our relationship, my life and the holidays for us both.

So even though for me there’s a bit of melancholy in the air as it’s only the 2nd Christmas without my Dad and my Mom is not so keen on being around a lot of people at one time, I am also finding a bit of cheer in the festiveness in the air, the joy of playing jolly ol’ Saint Nick’s wife (ahem) and in finding the blessings and peace in the reason for the season.

What about you?  Do you feel those changes in attitude?  Or are you feeling a bit Scrooge-like at the moment?

Shine On!