Tag Archive | grief during the holidays

Count Your Blessings

In my life, I’ve found that when I count my blessings, I feel more present. There’s something about being in a place of gratitude with a peaceful heart that helps me to rise above the fray of life’s troubles.

So this morning I awoke to count my blessings since it is Thanksgiving. I lit a favorite pumpkin spice candle in the kitchen to allow the scent to waft through our home and bring a cheery presence.

As I sipped my coffee in the early quiet morning hours, a rush of gratitude enveloped me. I am grateful to be here today. I am grateful for my children, my family and friends. I am grateful for this precious moment of tranquility.

This is the first major holiday without my parents. If I allowed myself to wallow in the sadness, it would be a shame, so I shed a few tears that needed to escape. Then I sat quietly thinking of them. It only feels hard to deal with emotionally if I allow that to be in my thoughts. If I feel grateful for the love my deceased parents and I shared, then there’s a different perspective. For I don’t believe they are gone from my life, but instead, very present in a spiritual way. For that, I’m grateful.

So on this Thanksgiving, I extend my heartlight to yours with gratitude for our friendship. I pray you have a lovely day filled with an abundance of gratitude for the blessings in your life. Hold your loved ones close in heart. Be kind and compassionate. Shine your heartlights for all to see. May a chorus of counting our blessings be felt across the world.

Shine On!


Until You’ve Been There, You Can’t Quite Understand

untilyouhavebeenthereUntil You’ve Been There,

You Can’t Quite Understand

At some point in life, we can feel misunderstood and alone as if no one truly understands what we are enduring.  It happens.  We can swirl in strive alone or we can reach out to others.  I have found through my experiences that when we endure hardships, we have a choice.  We can allow them to keep us down or we can use our knowledge to help others.  There’s nothing like the connection when we share what we are going through and find the comfort with someone who understands because they have a similar experience.

On the other hand, if you have not experienced ‘x’ (fill in the blank with whatever hardship you are currently enduring), you may find it difficult to be compassionate with a friend who just doesn’t ‘get it’ because they simply can’t imagine the magnitude of ‘x’ in your life.

Don’t despair dear friends for it happens to all of us.  We all have certain hardships in life that can drag us down, but here you can find a connection of love that endures, supports and helps to raise you up when you need comfort.  You only need to tap into the love of the universe to feel it.  Take my hand.  I understand.

Holidays can be trying times for the best of us.  Grief and loss can sour happy times if we let them.  But we have a choice to allow sadness to swallow us up and sap our energy or we can reach out and look up.  I know it’s not easy, but it is possible.  Begin to feel the festive spirit of love in your life.  You are not alone, ever.  Even when you feel completely misunderstood and alone, you are not.  Faith is a great healer.  Your inner spirit shines with a heartlight full of love when you let it.  Allow your soul to glow with love and peace.  Begin to feel the gratitude for being here in this moment.  Breathe in the source of God’s love for you.  Close your eyes and see the white light of love surrounding you.

Grief comes in waves.  Ride the peaks and valleys of grief as best you can and know that it can be a wild ride.  But know that it is a part of life’s journey.  For without grief, we would not understand the beauty of happiness and joy.

Share your experiences with others as when we connect, when compassion forges that connection, we all become empowered by the moment.  When we lift someone else up by word or deed or even companionable silence, we lift your own spirit as well, we begin to heal and we strengthen our loving heartlights to shine even brighter!

Remember you are loved.  You are cherished.  Life is a season of years with ups and downs.  We remember the good and the bad, but the choice is ours as to what we allow to take our attention.  You are wise.  You are here.  Be kind to yourself and others today for we are all enduring something.  Compassion heals, dear friends.  Shine your heartlight, connect with others and know that you are loved.

Shine On!





The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences, and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun.

~ Christopher McCandless

Sometimes we forget to EN-JOY the changes and different experiences that we find ourselves in and instead label the changes as good or bad.  But they are not all black and white like that, even though they feel hard and sometimes impossible to accept.  I understand how you feel.  But you must remember that they are simply changes and new experiences.  There’s no definitive label needed ~ just the Joy in Living ~ and by living, we have endlessly changing horizons, for each day has a new and different sun!

Remember, “When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change!” ~ Wayne Dyer

Choose JOY! 

Shine On!



What you can’t recover…


Four things you can’t recover: 

The STONE after the throw. 

The WORD after it’s said. 

The OCCASION after it’s missed. 

The TIME after it’s gone.

Sometimes I need a good dose of reality.  I don’t mean to sound preachy, but this sign caught my eye today on Pinterest ~ by the way, click here to buy it!  and I felt like it was a good reminder for me and to share here.

I”m not much of a stone thrower, I’m rather weak ~ but I have been known to throw a few ~ most notably the snowball which was ice encrusted (and I honestly didn’t know) that I threw at my Sissy as a kid.  Shocking to both of us since my aim is really off, I hit her square in the eye and gave her a black eye when we were little!  Boy did I get in trouble on that one!  We were just playing snowball fight and I guess I packed a wallop of a snowball!  I would love to tell you that I learned my lesson and I don’t throw them anymore, but that’s untrue.  Now I just aim for your feet so that I hit you in the torso ~ and I make sure that it’s not a hard ice-ball snowball!

Words ~ ay yay yay!  This one’s a toughie because I wish I could eat a few of the words that have escaped my lips over the years.  Unfortunately, I have saddened myself and others and this is one that I monitor now that I’ve learned.  On the flip side, there are phrases which replay over and over in my head rent free that I wish I’d never heard.  Since I can only control myself, I am working on my words and trying to evict those harsh words running rampant in my brain and heart.

Occasions ~ this one makes me sad as there are a few moments in my memory that I wish I’d gone out of my comfort zone to do something, to say something, to do more than to recognize the occasion as ‘one I could say/do such and such’ and instead, I allowed the moment to pass.  Regretfully, I admit there are times that I should have taken the opportunity/occasion to say yes to opportunity instead of staying safe, playing it cool and regretfully even  turning away.

Time ~ When one loses a loved one, time is what we crave, regrets are what we wallow in and we hold tight to the time we spent with them.  But instead of lamenting after the passing of our loved ones, here’s the once in a lifetime chance to use our time now wisely!  We have all the time in the world ~ why not use it while we are here on Earth and while we are among the living!

Bottom line ~ live in the now ~ enjoy the Presents of Presence ~ put down stones (and icy snowballs), watch our words, never allow the occasion to pass us by and wring all of the love and presence out of every single blessed moment of our time here!!  Perhaps keeping this little saying in the back of your mind will help you to enjoy the holidays more and to make more memories to cherish!

In the words of Eckhart Tolle, “The only thing you ever have is now.”

Do you have stones, words, occasions and time that you wish you could change? 

Please don’t tell me I’m the only one after I’ve laid my heart out for you!

Shine On!


A Silent Journey

78636177_Original from Cafe Grace on Facebook

I am a people pleaser at heart.  In the family unit, I was the peacekeeper as well and the one who tried to mother everyone in sight.  I can’t say if it was innate or if it was a role given to me, but it was one that I tried to accomplish with gusto.  I ran around trying to help everyone, anxiously trying to make things better and keep people happy.  I would try not to ‘upset the apple cart’ on many occasions.  I was never good at confrontation and hid from it when I could.  I would rather just be peaceful and have everyone love me.

Simply put, I wanted to love them all and have them all love me.

But the last year and a 1/2 since my Dad’s passing, things have changed in me.  There’s been a break in the charm department in my life.  It’s like a crater has opened up in my heart and shown me that while I have been trying hard to please everyone in my life for so long, I have not pleased myself at all.  While I’ve been mothering the world, I’ve not mothered myself.  When there have been times I could have stood up for myself, I sat down instead and seethed.  I lived fearing that they wouldn’t love me if I didn’t meet others’ expectations and I’ve now found out that I’m right.  And it hurts.

It’s not been easy for me since my Dad passed.  I’ve tried to soldier on as best as I could.  I’ve tried to pay attention to those who needed it and tried to please the rest.  I know I’ve not done a great job, but I truly can say that I’ve tried.  Something snapped in me though and when it did, I admit that I acted out a bit.  Quite out of the ordinary for me for sure and it took everyone by storm.  It was not met with kindness and I just couldn’t explain my stubbornness.  I think I just had a temper tantrum that’s lasted and the silence that’s built up from it is deafening.

It’s very lonely in this transitional time for me.  Beloved family members have silenced me by refusing to say that they love me.  On the outside, they act normally, but we both know that they are hurt as am I.  This intense silent treatment has been hard for us all.  I don’t know how to fix things, but I know that I can’t go back to not speaking up.  I admit that I swung like a pendulum from being a people pleaser to growling at the mere mention of doing what I didn’t feel like doing.  I know it’s been a heartache as most growing pains tend to be.

Perhaps it’s my way of dealing with my overbearing father’s passing that I now don’t want anyone else to control me so I’ve become like a rebellious teenager.  Dealing with his death, 4 surgeries and learning on my own how to close his business, plus being a wife/mom, running our house plus my Mom’s was a lot for me to handle in a year ~ not to mention the grief which churned up so many memories and feelings that I had stuffed down for years.  I just don’t think anyone realized how much it was for me to handle and quite frankly, I was too busy just trying to make it through each day without doing something wrong that I wouldn’t ask for help.  In retrospect, I can see now how foolish I was because when I was drowning, I just kept trying to dog paddle my way through the days.

Because I was never given the opportunity to act up and I guess I did it with gusto.  If I’ve hurt anyone, it’s not that I meant to at all.  I just needed to find me and it’s been a long, hard, lonely journey because nobody seems to understand.  There’s so much that I dare not say, so much grieving that I’ve done alone, so much that I’ve had to forgive and let go.

I still cry for the loss of my Dad, which is a conundrum because our relationship was quite rocky ~ in fact, I cried this morning.  Grief does that I think, it sneaks up and gooses you at the strangest times.  Who knew that getting rid of my Dad’s phone number would send me in to a wailing tailspin?  Perhaps my tear ducts needed a good cleaning ~ yes, that’s it.  Believe me, they don’t need to be cleared out for another 2 years after this episode.

In the meantime, I am working on finding out who I am and not needing approval which is hard for a people pleaser like me.  It’s a long road ahead, but I’ll just keep taking my baby steps and hope that others will understand ~ I love you ~ I need you ~ I’m sorry.  Please be patient with me.  I simply am who I am.

Shine On!


Daily Prompt: A Source of Anxiety

Write about a noise — or even a silence — that won’t go away. (We’ll let you interpret this in different ways…)

Photographers, artists, poets: show us ANXIETY.