How To Spend the Holidays with Loved Ones Who Have Passed
While driving home from a Christmas party last weekend, I pass an exit on the highway off which an ex-coworker lived.
Sandy passed away several years ago, and as I continue my ride, I think about the time we worked together. Admittedly, she often drove me nuts. She was a “wake-up-talking” kind of person, and I needed at least an hour or more before I could politely engage. Despite reminding her of that, she’d dive right into conversation as soon as I entered the building.
Now, as I remember this about her, I smile. This is just who Sandy was — a talkative, social, kind woman.
I feel guilty for not always treating her with the same kindness she exuded. As a bottom-liner, there were times I was short with her; impatient with her long-thought-out communication style.
I use this highway reminder to let her know I’m sorry. As I do, I know she’s on the other side, smiling and shaking her head as if to say “don’t give it a second thought.”
For the remaining hour-long drive, I sense an angel in the back seat, beaming light and smiling brightly. By thinking of her, I know I’ve invited her to visit for a bit.
It felt nice to “be” with her again and share with her how much I appreciated her rose-colored-glasses outlook on life and her ability to always see the good in everyone she met. I found myself smiling as my heart warmed with love.
Many of us are missing loved ones, and this time of year makes it particularly difficult. Why not invite them for a visit? Remember your happy times together. What is your favorite memory of that person?
By pausing to think of them, you connect energetically, and then they’re right there with you. While our human-ness would love to see them in physical form, don’t let the lack of that make you forget that they’re with you always.
Here are a few tangible ideas to help them feel even closer:
- Light a candle. In honor of them, buy a special candle and light it when you want a visit, include them in a celebration, or sit quietly remembering them.
- Get them a gift. What is something you wish you could give them during the holidays? Whatever it is, get it and donate it in their honor.
- Write a note. Adorn a small box with items that remind you of your loved one, then, when the mood strikes, jot a quick note to him or her and drop it in the box. Consider it a mail box for heaven.
When you can be intentional about missing them, the sadness can turn into joy; the longing into peace.
Until next week, keep taking those steps to Live Out Loud!