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Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Sometimes We Just Have to Believe

I cry when I watch Judy Garland sing this song in "Meet Me In St. Louis." I cry when John Denver sings it with the Muppets and I'll cry in this James Taylor version, too. (cue the music).


My holidays are pretty merry and bright this year. I had good news with my biopsy, our Baby Grand was christened, I've enjoyed every minute I've spent with Rick and our friends. Shopping is under control. Cards (finally) got out. Baking is nearly done (and better be by the time this posts!)


But I know more than a few people who are experiencing their first holiday without someone they love and some of those losses are very recent ones. Getting down that road can be tough. There are no easy answers but sometimes there are things that can help us get through the tough days, a holiday survival kit for those experiencing loss.


I've been down that road too. The loss of my dad 24 years ago in December was what led me to volunteer a year later at Ele's Place, a family grief center, where I worked with middle school-aged kids for 10 years. While I was there I learned a lot about managing the grief journey. I'm no expert, but I've walked it myself and I've walked with others. I know the first year is very hard, but that doesn't mean the next ones are easy. But believe. Time may not heal everything but it heals a lot.


We helped our kids and their parents learn strategies to acknowledge their losses, to remember their people -- and in doing so, learned a few things that those of us not currently in grief can do to be helpful.


I've written some of these tips in a post here on Modern Creative Life. I hope if you have time, you'll take a look or share it with anyone you think might benefit from it.


If you are one of those experiencing loss this year -- loss of family, friends, your home or your job -- please know that my heart is with you with wishes that in this season, amidst your sadness you will also find bit of joy and happiness.


It may be in the eyes of a child -- or a beloved pet. In an unexpected gift or act of kindness.


Believe. It will one day be better. And remember, we grieve because we loved. Which, when you really think about it, is the greatest gift of all.

Come back tomorrow to celebrate my tenth blogging anniversary with a drawing and giveaway!

23 comments:

Joanne Huffman said...

Well said.

Lynne said...

I hope others read your recent article . . .
Having friends who are experiencing their loss of a loved one a year ago . . .
I found your article a gift of thoughts, ideas, Hope . . .
What a dear, joyful, kind, wonderful, beautiful “gift” you are . . .
Love ~

eileeninmd said...

Hello, the holidays are a tough time for one who has recently lost a loved one. My parents have been gone for awhile now but I still think of the happy memories at Christmas. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and ideas. Great post.

Enjoy your day and week ahead!

Valerie-Jael said...

I'm really glad you're feeling merry and bright and that the trials and tribulations are over. Have a good w, hugs, Valerie

Linda @ A La Carte said...

Jeanie your words are so true and comforting. Dec 23rd is my hard day as I lost my brother two years ago, but it is also a day of Joy as it is the anniversary of my sweet Sara and Blake's wedding. I let the memories of both wash over me and rejoice in them. Hugs!

Marilyn Miller said...

Dear Jeanie,
The article is just perfect. The blog post too. And the photographs are spectacular. How I love the picture by the "ditch" of footsteps in the snow. I think your picture taking, writing, and blog posts have been just wonderful and getting better all the time.

Barbara Windle said...

I have just had a marathon read of your posts. I get behind sometimes. Spectacular news on your biopsy! I couldn't be happier for you. You have such good advice on surviving the holidays and I will be using some of your ideas this year.

You are decorated and ready for the holidays. This is great!! Everything looks wonderful. That little baby boy will love coming to grandma's house to see the lights and all the wonder. Good ideas with the necklaces of loved ones. I like that a lot.

Before I go, the bird you were asking about is a Dark-eyed Junco. We have so many of them here. They are lovely little birds and like visiting feeder.

Jeanie, have a very merry Christmas!!!

Barbara Fisher said...

Thank you Jeanie, I’ve been over to your other blog and bookmarked the page.

Maggie said...

Such a kind and thoughtful post and one many of us can take comfort from.
In times of sadness or stress I often think of these words:

All shall be well and all shall be well and all manner of things shall be well.
Julian of Norwich (1373)

Pam Jackson said...

I BELIEVE! haha...Love hearing Judy Garland sing, esp Somewhere Over the Rainbow. I love Christmas songs as a whole and some (newer ones) I would not give 2cents for! Loving your decorations and hoping you are having a great time this time of yr.

I need orange said...

Sharing wisdom about grieving with all of us -- that's what I call kindness and generosity.

Thank you.


Bleubeard and Elizabeth said...

Pain and loss are genuine, and it is magnified this time of year, especially when we are supposed to be in the "holiday" spirit. I spoke with the three children whose mother died of cancer this year and they were still reeling from the loss. Even though they have made new friends in CA, and their aunt and family are loving and caring, the children are having trouble moving forward since this is the first Christmas without her. Even words of encouragement, talks with counselors, and love every day at home haven't lifted their spirits as it should have. This is a lovely post and I'm going to send the link to their aunt.

BTW, I LOVE your pasta angel. I made about 20 of them for Christmas one year, too.

BeachGypsy said...

Very very good post! And just WHAT is kitty thinking while gazing up at that tree??---hmmmmm? LOL Meet me in St. Louis is one of my all time favorite movies, I can watch it over and over again, just love that era and their house......oh my goodness that house is huge and amazing!

Jenny Woolf said...

Jeanie, this is such a nice post. Have a good Christmas.

Rita C. said...

No one sings this, my favorite, like James. I remember listening to Andy Williams' version in 1968 - the year my grandfather died - and watching the color wheels on the aluminum trees in our rec room. Memories, love, believing....Christmas.

Tristan Robin Blakeman said...

I rarely post a comment, though I read every post and peruse all the photos! However, I always realize that anything/everything I might say has already been stated multiple times in comments, so I see no point in being redundant.

But, I had to say how much I enjoyed this post - so filled with festive feelings and enchanting photos. Not to mention, I'm craving a couple of your ornaments LOL.

I hope you find as many blogs that bring you a moment's smile as yours brings to others!

Victoria Zigler said...

Beautiful post, and wonderful article... I shared the article.

My name is Erika. said...

This is an uplifting post. And I see an ornament that matches an oldie on my tree too. I must say my December has been super quiet this year-either because of bad weather or someone being sick in the house. Right now its me with a head cold, but the good thing about a head cold is at least you can take a day off from work (legitimately) and stay home and bake cookies. :) Got to look on the bright side I say. Hugs-Erika

Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

I'm definitely going to hop over and read that post as there are several people in my life including my husband who have lost parents which make this time of year so tough. I am lucky to still have both of my parents and hope they remain healthy for many years to come - but one never knows. I hate that you lost both of your parents are such a young age. :(

But you are right about how the sense of loss goes to show how much we loved those we lost. When we lost my aunt to breast cancer 4 years ago, this quote from Winnie the Pooh summed up how we felt: 'how lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.' My aunt sent that quote out to us in her final days.

Wandering Wren said...

I'm happy that your Christmas can be spent without the worry of your biopsy. Tis true, is better to have loved and lost than never to have lost at all. Time helps and heals but ... I'm sure your post is such a help to many of us! Thank you.
With lots of love for a Merry Christmas.
Wren xx

Pam Richardson said...

Thanks for sharing your /eautiful thoughts! Grieving is a journey and we all have suffered and will suffer loss! My heart hurts for all those that I know personally who have suffered so much this year! Wishing you joy and peace at Christmas!

Red Rose Alley said...

How special that you worked at a family grief center, helping kids. I love that little macaroni angel, Jeanie, and have one similar to it that Jess made when she was little. What a sweet picture of your cat gazing at the Christmas tree in wonder.

Merry Christmas, and I'm glad I found your charming blog. Peace be with you this Christmas and always.

~Sheri

Valerie said...

I was advised to view your post and am so pleased I took up the offer. There is so much we should be grateful for. Merry Christmas.

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