Ready or Not, Here Come the Holidays…

We’ve reached the peak of Hallowthankmas in the stores.

I‘ve never liked smashing one holiday on top of another which seems, in my mind, to rob each of their respective unique characteristics.

I’m also particularly frustrated that Halloween-a “holiday” mocking death and focused on fear (for many)-occupies way more space in mass retailers’ aisles than Thanksgiving.

But I can no more hold back the onslaught of merchandising than I can the days marching resolutely toward end of year holidays even if I choose not to join the commercial bandwagon.

So here we are.

There are forty-four days until Thanksgiving and seventy-three days until Christmas.

Read the rest here: Holidays are Coming, Ready or Not!

What About The Holidays?

I know it’s still rather warm in many parts of the United States but like it or not the holidays are coming.

And this year promises to be more difficult for everyone.

Now it’s not only the bereaved trying to avoid the mines of tradition set amidst the fields of fall and winter celebrations.

We are all going to have to manage different expectations, needs, comfort zones, fears and anxieties.

Christmas is coming - Home | Facebook

So, in hopes of helping families have the hard discussions sooner rather than later, I’m going to share a series of posts I wrote several years ago.

We’ll start with this one-helpful hints on how to have those conversations. ❤

You don’t have to bury a child to know that changing long-standing family traditions around holidays is a hard, hard thing.

Just ask a parent trying to work out Thanksgiving and Christmas for the first time after an adult child marries.  Suddenly the way things have “always been” are no longer the way things are.

Holidays typically involve so many more people and family members than everyday get-togethers and each person brings expectations, emotions and personal history to the table.”

Read the rest here: Grief, Holidays and Hard Conversations

Repost: Trying to Hold Off the Holidays

Here they come round the bend like a pack of dogs chasing that rabbit on a racetrack.

No way to slow them down, no way to step to the side and ward off the relentless message that Thanksgiving and Christmas are coming soon-so, so soon.

Stores scream, “You’ve got to buy it NOW!  You’re running out of time!”

Billboards, radio and television ads, and calendars count down the days.

Decorations assault my eyes and ears and nose (thank you pumpkin everything!).  I cannot get away.  There’s no where to hide

Read the rest here:  Trying to Hold off the Holidays

Free Seminar: Grief and Holidays

I’m hosting a seminar for bereaved moms October 18th.  I’ve got it set up as an event  on Facebook but I wanted to share it here to make sure no one misses out.  ❤

It’s not going to be anything fancy but I hope it will help some of us gird our loins for the last two months of the year that prove challenging to all of us whose child has run ahead to Heaven.

A precious friend who is an amazing baker and caterer will be furnishing the food.

I will be sharing from some things I’ve written in the past and some new things I’ve learned about this year.  

We’ll open things up so others who want to can share what has/hasn’t worked for them in the past and we’ll allow for questions and brainstorming.

So bring your appetite, bring a notebook and join us!

We *may* try to Facebook live my talk but don’t depend on that since internet connections out here in the woods aren’t always reliable or strong enough to stream anything.

It’s listed publicly as an event on my own Facebook page and on my public Heartache and Hope page so please go THERE  and RSVP if interested.

grief and the holidays broken bulb

Here are the important details:

Grief and Holidays Seminar and Supper for Bereaved Moms

Thursday, October 18

6:30-9:30 pm (don’t be thrown off by the length-we will stay and share up to that time, but if you need to leave sooner you certainly can)

Johntown Baptist Church

5201 Vance Road

West Blocton, AL 35184  (About 30/35 minutes from Tuscaloosa, AL and about 45-65 minutes from most Birmingham, AL locations)

There is plenty of space but we need a head count for food and handouts, so RSVP by Sunday, October 14th.

bereaved parents have one job during the holidays to survive

Repost: Be Free to Celebrate [Or Not!]

Often bereaved parents dread the major holiday season that starts in November and lasts through January.  We brace ourselves for THOSE days because they loom large on the calendar and give fair warning.

But the year is chock full of minor holidays and other celebrations that require just as much emotional energy as the “big” ones.

If I’m not careful, they will slip up on me and drain me dry.

So here’s how I try to approach them.

It helps my heart.

Maybe it will help yours too.  ❤

One of the most challenging things that faced me immediately after Dominic’s funeral was that we had two college graduations, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, his birthday, a wedding and my own thirtieth wedding anniversary within two months.

Thankfully we had some amazing friends and family that stepped up and filled in the gaps.

Read the rest here:  Be Free to Celebrate [or Not!]

Repost: Grief and Holiday Plans-Working Out the Details

My mother is in the hospital-lifeflighted on Wednesday night from her rural home to the nearest larger medical center.  She’s doing better but we have no idea when she may be released to go home.

So these next days I will be re-posting some blogs from last year.  I hope you will join me praying for my mama and also be patient with the lack of new content.  ❤

I live in Alabama where we are still sweating buckets under the late summer sun, so I understand if thinking about the holidays is the furthest thing from your mind.

School just starting, new routines in place-am I crazy?

Well, yes (you can find plenty of folks to back you up on that) and no-the days keep coming, one after the other, and these big days will be here sooner than we think.

Read the rest here:  Grief and Holiday Plans: Working Out the Details

Repost: Not What I Had Planned

Every time the headlines scream death and destruction, my heart stops.  

When it’s YOUR child, husband, mother, cousin you can’t change the channel or route the conversation to lighter topics.

You just have to bear it.  

Read the rest here:  Not What I Had Planned

Holiday Planning Helps for Grieving Parents

As much as I hate the mashup of Halloween/Thanksgiving/Christmas that assaults my senses every time I walk into a store, it IS a reminder that, like it or not, the holidays are coming.

displays-before-halloween

I wrote these posts a few weeks back so that grieving parents and their families could begin to think about and make plans for year-end celebrations.

I know it’s hard-it continues to be hard for me as I approach the third (!) set of holidays without one of my children at the table.

But it is harder without a plan. 

So here are links to the posts.  I pray they are a small help for heartbroken mamas and daddies:

thanksgiving-day-4-wallpaper

 

 

Grief and Holiday Plans: Working Out the Details

 

 

family-reunion

 

Grief, Holidays and Hard Conversations

 

 

 

its hurting again

 

 

 

Grief and Holidays:What the Bereaved Need From Friends and Family

 

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Practical Ideas for Dealing with the Holidays after Child Loss