As the holiday season approaches much too quickly, it is easy for me to feel anxious and to begin dreading the upcoming days. With the arrival of the holidays also comes the memory of Alan’s death since it occurred between Thanksgiving and Christmas and 11 days before his birthday. I was listening to a book on CD in my car this week. My commute to and from work gives me the opportunity to listen to, enjoy, and learn from some good authors. Karen Kingsbury is this week’s choice. While I have not read (or listened) to her before, I must say she has a way of writing that makes me stop, think, and realize how blessed I really am.
There is a certain gift in remembering. You are reminded of doing life with someone; the way they sounded when they laughed or the look on their face when surprised. I have learned that you have a choice how to respond to your memories of loved ones. Recalling special moments together can be a blessing. They can also be painful and looked upon as something to be avoided. You may choose to bury those memories down deep in order to keep from hurting. However, I want to propose that you receive the gift of remembering and treasure those special times instead.
Being able to recall happy occasions with your loved one is something that death cannot take from you. Those memories are treasures that you can hold in your heart and mind forever. Reliving those happier times can bring relief in the midst of deep sorrow and hope in the depths of dark nights. The gift of remembering can confirm the special relationship you had with your loved one. Knowing that they cared enough to do life with you is a blessing. Embrace that knowledge and allow it to be a healing salve placed upon your hurting soul.
What if some of those memories are less pleasant? There are spats you had, the disagreements that were difficult to navigate, and the challenges that life brings to everyone at times. Recalling how you made it through those hardships can encourage you that this present journey will not be impossible either. Because you made it through other hard times, you are better equipped to survive the challenge that death and grief bring.
Preparing for bed last night, I heard the song We Will Remember. It’s a beautiful tribute acknowledging all the times that God has been by your side and seen you through both the good and the rough times in life. It confirmed for me that there is definitely a gift in remembering.
As you approach the upcoming holidays, do so with an open mind and a willing heart. Embrace your memories realizing that the gift of remembering is proof that you loved well and lived hard. Continue to do so now. Move forward with no regrets. Do not miss those opportunities that are presented to you as you heal and learn to continue living life a new way.
Until next time –
With the holidays approaching, Grief Letters makes the perfect gift for those walking through loss and sadness. This devotion book is filled with lessons learned from my own journey as well as suggested activities written to help achieve forward progress through grief. Place your order today!
Grief Letters By Karen Bransgrove, Published by WestBow Press. You can order here.
Hardcover | 6 x 9 in | 114 pages | ISBN 9781490869674
Softcover | 6 x 9 in | 114 pages | ISBN 9781490869667
E-Book | 114 pages | ISBN 9781490869650
Also available at Amazon and Barnes and Noble.