So here we are, approaching the month of December and already making gift lists and prepping holiday plans. Well, most of us are, some may be in their homes, hiding in their work, or acting as if nothing is wrong. What I mean is, some may be grieving, wishing that their loved one or loved ones were on this earth. The holidays can be a very hard time for some of us. Every year we are all capable of having a "blue holiday" at some point or another. I personally have experienced some very sad times and by the grace of God, time does heal, but right now people are experiencing this for the first time or the tenth. It never gets any easier, the pain doesn't go away, you just learn to cope over time. For some, this is the first holiday season without their mother, father, grandmother, grandfather, child, brother, sister, aunt, uncle friend, family member - the list goes on.
So what do we do? What can we do? If you know someone who's experiencing loss, a simple call or text, to let them know you are there for them- but I mean really there for them - is a start. Sometimes it takes time for them to reach back out to you and sometimes they want to talk. Listen to them, ask them what their best memories are so they can re-live them and express them out loud. From my experience, even if it gets them emotional, it's a great release. I'm crying just thinking about it.
This year I really want to make more of an effort for some of my family and friends who are dealing with a very difficult time. I want to find or make gifts that are just a little more personal but to let them know, we haven't forgotten that they are no longer with us on this earth. I keep saying "on this earth" because truly when someone close to you has passed I PROMISE YOU they come to you in many different forms. When you think you had a moment that reminded you of your friend or family member, I truly believe they are just trying to let you know that they are here and they hear you. I have had a lot of experience of loved ones coming to me through random people and also my dreams. Mediums say, "to dream of someone who has passed is actually a meeting". They truly came to you and somehow, have you ever noticed that they just understand and are calm? Sometimes they do leave a clear message.
I'll give you two (of many) dream examples:
The night my maternal grandfather died he came to me. I was in this beautiful marbled ,maybe four stories high, library. My grandfather was an incredible surgeon and an intellect, but he was very down to earth and was actually a prankster, especially during Halloween! All of the sudden a two person rollercoaster appears, next thing I know we are having the time of our life riding away. I wonder if that's his place in Heaven? He looked great, so much energy and hearing his mischievous laugh comforted me. I knew he was no longer in pain, happy and with us. He passed in 2002, I didn't have another dream with him until 2016. It was leading up to my mother's open heart surgery, reminding me that she was going to make it.
The next dream was my sister's. Very short and to the point. Sylv was shopping in , what looked like, Costco and her cell phone rang. It was our paternal grandmother's contact showing up. Sylv in her dream was aware that our grandmother had recently passed from pancreatic cancer. So in her dream she freaked and began to cry as she answered it. It was our abuela, and she said something along the lines of " Don't worry, don't worry, everything is ok. I am ok" and Sylv quickly woke up.
I recently looked up "grieving gifts" and dear Lord- forgive me- BUT THOSE ARE DEPRESSING AF!!! There is a fine line of " thinking of you and yours" to "let's make your entire home a memorial". There were pieces of jewelry that clearly showed dates and "in memory of", or items that might start up a conversation like " hey what does that mean? what are those dates about?", I always get nervous that maybe someone doesn't want to talk about it. So when it comes to dates or questionable things, think about who you are buying from- if they aren't a talker avoid items that people go " OH, what's that about?".
I recently made a list on Amazon [Click Here] of some finds and hope you will take a look, but here's what you will find... *The items pictured below are direct links to that specific item. More options via the list.
PHOTOS: I love finding candid photos of laughter and smiles or maybe in the middle of work. Showing them their passions and what life was like for them. Sometimes you have to do some digging, maybe even take a look at their social media of the person who is grieving and see what they've posted over the years. Ever see the movie "The Family Stone" (it takes place during the holidays)? SPOILER ALERT. One of the gifts given is photographs of a family member that soon passes. It's beautiful and a photo in frame is all you need.
I did however list some really beautiful "keep-sake" boxes that have a photo slot on the lid. The box is practical if you want to place more photos or jewelry or letters etc.
NUMBERS OF LOCATION: I love the longitude latitude of a specific location of where someone may have met the other or just any place of significance. It's different and there are so many ways you can do this; in jewelry, on a poster, wooden keepsake box... so many options.
STAR LOCATIONS: This is similar to the longitude/latitude idea except it's within a star. You can find out where specific stars are or just the general layout of a moment in time. I actually got this as a gift of how the stars were aligned when I got engaged and it's beautiful.
WIND CHIME: For someone who likes to relax in the backyard, or loves to keep their yard, maybe porch tidy, I found a beautiful chime that says "Listen to the wind and know that I am near...". I think that is beautiful.
JOURNALS: There are journals that have specific quotes and prayers, that if this person is one who is looking to get into journaling or needs a a release. They can write letters and or prayers for themselves or to their loved one that has passed.
I hope you will take a look at my "Thinking of you and yours" list. Someone you know might need it this season. It's also a list that is good year round. Also, don't stress if you don't know what to say or do for that person. They don't know either. Who truly understands death? It's something that happens, it's something that can test your faith, but we do the best we can to help others and make sure they know we are here for them.
If you are someone that is experiencing loss, my condolences and all the well wishes of love and strength during this difficult time. I know, no words will heal your aches, but I promise you in time this too shall pass. You will be able to overcome this.
I wish you all the love and happiness to come this holiday season everyone.