As I approached this Thanksgiving, I was somewhat melancholy. I found myself missing so many family members and friends who were no longer here. Yes, I longed for Thanksgivings of yesteryear. Reflecting back, I realized that this was my most favorite time of the year, the Thanksgiving and Christmas season. Although I lived hundreds of miles away from my family, I always managed to travel back to share in the holiday festivities. Rather than allow myself to be pulled into a place of melancholy, I decided to celebrate their lives by enjoying the holiday season.
Many are experiencing the loss of loved ones as they celebrate the first Thanksgiving without them. Others just missed their loved ones, like me, even though they may have made their transitions in previous years. Nevertheless, it causes you to reflect on how much you miss them, love them and cherish their memory.
As you celebrate Thanksgiving and the rest of the Christmas season, garner joy in knowing how much their lives touched yours and brought meaning to you and how much you touched theirs. Don’t be afraid to remember all the great times shared. I am not minimizing the intensity of the loss, I know it quite well having lost mother, father, four sisters, a niece, two nephews, uncles, aunts, cousins, two pastors and friends. I am no stranger to it.
I realize celebrating their life, contributions and legacies is more beneficial for my well-being. Remembering them is all of part of moving forward. They are as much a part of me as they were before they exited this life. Love and memories live in the heart and can never be destroyed. If you want to cry and shed some tears, that’s all right. Go ahead and do it. But also, laugh about the good times as well. Cherish and delight in the memories. Don’t allow the melancholy of the loss to consume you and push out the great memories you shared. Make a concerted effort to celebrate their life with joyful appreciation of how it brought meaning to yours.
If you have never lost anyone, reach out to someone who has. Spend time with them in celebrating their loved one. Don’t become impatient when they talk about them too much. They just need a compassionate listening ear. You’re there to help them through a difficult process. What an awesome gift to give—the gift of you.
Whatever holiday traditions you had, believe me your loved ones want you to continue with them. They enjoyed them while they were here with you and they want you to continue to enjoy them. Not to mention, for you to pass on to subsequent generations the importance of family and upholding family traditions.
That’s my commitment. Not to focus on what is a perceived loss, but that I am and have been so blessed with family, both then and now. In our hearts, each one is always with me. Won’t you join me in celebrating Thanksgiving for every blessing of family God gave each of us!
Have a Happy Blessed Thanksgiving!
The Bold Encourager
Business Encouragement Coach