Did your deceased loved one carve the turkey, or sit at the head of the table, lead the family in grace or make his/her famous pie?
You might think Thanksgiving will never be the same without your loved one AND you are right! Thanksgiving, and in fact every day since the death of your loved one will be different! However, this does not mean that every day from now on will be dark and filled with sadness.
Through the process of mourning you can begin to once again live a life filled with moments of peace, joy and love.
If you have been in a support group I facilitate or read my blog posts you know that it is my experience and strong belief that healing will come to those who do their grief work which includes 1) telling your story over and over again and 2) feeling and expressing your feelings.
As you proceed along in your grief journey there are two more important tasks which are extremely helpful in healing. These include the acts of: 3) thanks and 4) giving.
When you begin to see how blessed you were to have your deceased loved one in your life, rather than focusing on why he or she was taken then you are making progress towards healing. When you can move away from saying “Why did this happen?” to “How can I make meaning out of this?” you are moving forward through your grief.
Additionally, when you are able to take the focus off yourself and your situation and GIVE to others, you will feel peace and joy possibly for the first time since your loved one died. It is paradoxical, that by giving of yourself, you receive back what you have been searching for on your grief journey.
Accordingly, Thanksgiving is an opportunity for possible moments of peace, joy and love in your life if you are willing to try and 1) look through the lens of gratitude and 2) give of yourself to those in need.
Honor your deceased loved one this Thanksgiving by “thanking” and “giving”! I guarantee it will have a positive effect on how you feel!