The holidays can be some of the most challenging time for many of us. You may be grieving the loss of a loved one and may even be wondering how you will make it through the holidays this year. Maybe it isn’t the loss of a person that you are grieving, but the loss of just not being able to be together with your loved ones because of the ongoing COVID pandemic. The holidays can be an especially difficult time for many people recovering from grief. “It’s our first time without…” is a sentence many of us might say to explain an empty chair at the table this year.
The holidays are usually celebrated with good food and the enjoyment of being together with our families. Sometimes we forget to think about all the things we have to be thankful for. This year it may be helpful to stop and take a deep breath, to freeze time for just a few minutes and ask ourselves what we are thankful for right now. Is it your ability to enjoy your coffee and read your paper in the mornings before you leave the house for a job you love? Is it because you have time to enjoy the people in your life, that you are thankful? Have you retired from a lifelong job and now have the freedom to do what you want each day? Stop and think about some of the things you are thankful for in your life. Try to reflect on all the blessings you have enjoyed throughout the year instead of focusing on the things you may have lost.
This year let’s all focus on having a truly great holiday, starting by telling someone in your life that you appreciate them. Try to savor every moment. Take time to express real gratitude for all the people that have helped you throughout the year rather than just saying a quick thank you. Explore what it feels like to pause and take time to smile and to wish someone well, and really mean it.
It is a spirit of thankfulness by which we can find reasons to change our hearts and minds. When we look at others as we want to be seen, there is a softness in our hearts that can overcome us. With your families together during this holiday season remember to cherish, heal, and share time with those who need you and those that you need. From our family at the Fordland Clinic to yours, we want you to know that we keep each of you in our thoughts, prayers, and hearts and we are thankful for each and every patient that we have the pleasure to care for. May blessings be with you and your family during this holiday season.