Yesterday I wrote a summary on the books in the self help, healing, and spiritual development categories that came out in 2012. There were three in particular that I wanted to touch on a bit more as we head deeper into this holiday season: Our Children Live On by Elissa Al-Chokhach, ¬†Forever With You by Patrick Mathews, and By Morning’s Light by Ginny Brock. These titles focus on bereavement and¬†afterlife. Why these titles? Why now?
I’ve heard year after year how the holidays are often the most difficult time for those who’ve lost loved ones. With the death of my sister earlier this year I’m learning first hand how very true this is. While the daily pangs eventually subside and “it gets easier with time” as everyone consolingly tells you, significant events¬†like missed birthdays, anniversaries, and holidays add fuel to the still red embers that will never die out. Particularly at this time of year familiar and nostalgic decorations, music, treats, and comforts from so many cherished memories have been brimming over for me and flaring pain that had finally quieted to a subtle background noise (most of the time). It has me thinking of Mariah Carey’s hit All I Want for Christmas Is You, not only because my sister loved her music, but for the situation this song is also very¬†true.
So what to do? As backward as it sounds when I feel the weight bearing down on my chest and tears stinging the corners of my eyes I try to embrace the moment. When the waves of grief come crashing I look to what’s triggered the resurgence and¬†follow the memory that leads me to. Most often I’m lead away from the¬†terrible grief into a moment of happiness. Without force, instead of weeping sometimes I find myself smiling at the experiences I got to share with my sister over so many magical childhood Christmases. I savor the love I still have and can feel her draw even closer.
My purpose in emphasizing this year’s titles in this category is to hopefully help you feel closer to those who’ve passed on and ease pain that might be heightened for you right now as well. I’d read all three prior to my sister’s death and after her passing I¬†found comfort in these stories. I hope you will as well.
When those pangs of grief confront you what helps you get through it, especially around the holidays? If you’re looking for more resources, click here for additional titles¬†on Death & the Afterlife.