Managing Grief During the Holiday Season

Angel looking down

The holiday season is a time of celebration and joy with friends and family. For those who are coping with the loss of a loved one, it can be a painful experience, as memories arise of times past when loved ones were there, bringing sadness for the loss of their physical presence on Earth. There are wistful thoughts of how a loved one in spirit would have enjoyed a particular activity or laughed at the antics of our relatives or friends. It is a bittersweet time of sadness when the world around us is partaking in traditions designed to bring people together and celebrate the love we share with one another. For those who are grieving, it can feel as though there is a giant hole in our hearts as we keenly miss the presence of those who have crossed over into Heaven.

The First Year is the Hardest

When my father crossed over into Heaven several years ago, the first year was the hardest. Each milestone event, birthday, holiday, and family celebration brought a reminder of his passing. My heart would ache with the loss, even though I knew he was watching over me and my family from Heaven. He had passed in the month of September, which meant the holidays were right around the corner. I was not in the mood to celebrate, let alone drag out all of the decorations for the house and my Christmas tree. It was around that time I had received wonderful advice which helped me not only get through the holidays, but also ease the pain in my heart. The advice was to try to maintain my holiday traditions as much as possible and to create new ones in honor of my father. At the same time, if I felt the need to pull back from some of the other holiday celebrations, such as ones with friends or coworkers, it would be okay to do so if I did not feel up to it. Being alone on the big holidays was not a good idea, such as Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, because it would only lead to greater sadness.

Taking Time Out When Needed, But Keeping Traditions

That first year I did decline many of the holiday invitations I received from people outside of my family. My friends certainly understood my need for some quiet time away from the crowds. Instead, I read books and worked on art projects as a way of giving myself time to rest. I did decorate my house and my Christmas tree. Even though tears streamed down my face as memories of Christmases past brought the pain of the loss of my dad to the surface, I still pushed on and was very glad I did. The sadness would have been worse for me if I had not stuck to my traditions. The holiday season brings such joy and light to my household that the lack of any decorations would have magnified my grief.

Navigating the Holidays

My biggest dilemma was Christmas Eve. Several years before my dad passed, my parents divorced. Christmas Eve was the holiday I spent with my dad and Christmas Day I spent with my mom. Each year, my sister and I would go to my dad’s house on Christmas Eve where he would cook dinner and we would watch my dad’s favorite Christmas movie, “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.” My dad had a great sense of humor, and still does in spirit. He really loved that movie because it made him laugh, and when I say laugh, I mean body shaking with tears-in-the-eyes guffaw. It did not matter how many times he watched it, it would always crack him up as if he was watching it for the first time.

As my dad proudly chopped and prepped his special Christmas feast in the kitchen, he kept an eye on the movie and would start laughing right before his favorite lines would come up. It was great to enjoy this time with him. His infectious laughter and quoting of his favorite lines made my sister and I laugh even more. After dinner, we would finish watching the movie and open our presents together. On our way home, my sister and I would turn up the radio and sing Christmas carols at the top of our lungs. Laughter and songs filled the car as we marveled at the beautiful light displays on our ride home.

Creating New Traditions

The year my dad passed, my sister and I promised ourselves we would watch “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation” every Christmas Eve. I know he watches along with us from Heaven, still laughing and quoting his favorite lines. In addition keeping that tradition, we decided to attend my aunt’s Christmas Eve party that she holds every year for my mom’s side of the family. At first, my sister did not want to go. I urged her to go, as I did not think it would be a good idea for either one of us to sit at home alone with the pain of missing our father wrapping itself around our hearts. Both of us did attend the Christmas Eve event and found ourselves surrounded by loving and understanding family who hugged us, shared fond memories they had with our dad,and welcomed us into the fold of this new holiday tradition for my sister and me.

Healing of the Heart and Spirit

The ensuing years have brought healing to our hearts. We know he is with us in spirit, not just during the holidays, but every day. Your loved ones in spirit are there for you, too. They hear you when you think of them and when you speak of them, they read the notes you write to them, and they watch over you and your family and friends from Heaven.  

Honor Yourself and Your Loved Ones in Spirit

Even though the pain of losing a loved one can be overwhelming during the holidays, it is good to give yourself a break when needed and to maintain traditions when you can. Creating new ones that honor your loved ones in spirit is a magnificent way to keep them close in your heart with fond memories of good times spent with one another and the love you share. From Heaven, our loved ones in spirit share the holidays with us. They watch over us as guardian angels and love it when we recognize their presence in our lives through the signs they send.

Our Spirits Entwined

In honor of all of your loved ones in spirit, I wrote this poem. May it bring you comfort and love this holiday season:

Our Spirits Entwined
By Karen T. Hluchan, Spirit Medium

As holiday preparations get underway,
I walk beside you in spirit each night and each day.
Your pain, sadness, joy, laughter, and tears,
Are felt within my spirit with each passing year.
I know your heart better than mine,
As we will always be connected, our spirits entwined.
The view from above is glorious and grand,
I reach out from Heaven to gently clasp your hand.
It will be okay, I am alright,
I am here with you now, sharing my love with all of my might.
I send you signs to let you know I am near,
Through feelings and images, words whispered in your ear.
The songs you hear that remind you of me,
Play for a purpose in all that will be.
Our love did not end on the day that I died,
It continues from Heaven, so strong are the ties.
We are never truly parted, God does have a plan,
To bring blessings to you and our entire clan.
Uplift your heart when I am near,
And share beautiful memories, so close and so dear.
When I appear in your dreams, please know it is me,
I am there to help out, to help you to see.
Your thoughts I can hear when they turn toward our life,
You are my everything, my heart without strife.
Do not be sad, as forever we will be,
Joined in our hearts, you and me.
I am your guardian angel, so true and so near,
I watch over your life and all that is dear.
Thank you for your love and all that we share,
I am here for you, my love, I need you, I care.
I am not far away, just a thought is all that is needed,
To have me by your side, your call is heeded.
Be gentle with your heart, and know I am there,
For now and forever, our souls will always be paired.

With Love and Light,
Karen T. Hluchan

Spirit Medium, Motivational Speaker, Reiki Master, Spiritual Artist, & Author of How Have You Loved?

www.HealingSpiritWithLove.com

Karen T. Hluchan is a spirit medium, motivational speaker, Reiki master, spiritual artist, and author of How Have You Loved?Through her mediumship practice, Healing Spirit with Love, she devotes her time to the healing of spirit on earth through her connection with heaven. Her passion for her calling is shared through spirit medium readings and angel readings, speaking engagements, and workshops she instructs, as well as through her writing, Reiki, and fine art spiritual paintings. All of her work is inspired by the divine light that is within us all. She has a great love of nature, people, and the planet, and she enjoys her connection in spirit, both here and in heaven.

Click here to learn more about Karen’s upcoming events or click here to learn more about Karen’s Workshops.

Receiving Closure and Managing Grief Associated with the Loss of a Loved One

AngelYour loved ones in spirit and other members of your heavenly support team know when you are struggling to move through certain stages of the grief process. While grieving for the loss of loved one is healthy, becoming stuck in a certain stage of the grief process can be very detrimental to your life.

Four Stages of the Grieving Process
The four main stages of the grieving process, which I describe in detail in my book, How Have You Loved?, are outlined below:

  • Denial
  • Anger
  • Sadness
  • Acceptance

A person may fluctuate between the various stages before they reach the final stage of acceptance and peace with a loved one’s passing. Often, people spend a lot of time in the second and third stages of anger and sadness. The anger is usually directed at God for “taking them away” from you, and the great sadness is often for the physical loss of the person’s presence in your life. It is important to note that God does not punish us. He does not call your loved ones back home to heaven in retaliation for any of your actions, past or present. When a soul is called home, it is because it is the time that was agreed to prior to birth.

Agreements Prior to Birth
The time and the manner in which someone physically passes is determined before a person is born on earth. In heaven, we create soul contracts which outline the various lessons that we are going to learn on our spiritual journey on earth. Members of our soul groups, such as our immediate families, coworkers, extended family members, and more, work with us to create plans that will enable each of our souls to grow and reach their full potential.

Life Lessons
The lessons that are selected may require great sacrifices, such as leaving life on earth at an early age in order to help others to learn how to cope with the tragic loss of a loved one. Successfully working through the various stages of grief and learning to accept a person’s passing are two examples of the outcomes of lessons. There is help along the way, such as messages sent to you by your loved ones in spirit, people who enter your life to provide assistance, and books that offer knowledge that broadens your understanding that endings must occur in order for new beginnings to take place.

Answers with Perfect Timing
The relationships that you have with the people around you can offer you powerful resources for healing in ways that you have not even imagined. Our heavenly support teams support us and work through us on earth by placing people in our paths at the right time and the right place. Friends, loved ones, acquaintances, and even strangers may provide answers to our prayers with a perfectly timed call, visit, or meeting that gives us the information we need about our lives. Many times, these instances seem like amazing coincidences; however, there are no coincidences, but rather fantastic examples of coordinated efforts by our heavenly support teams to answer our prayers and requests.

Heavenly Support Teams Join Together
It is interesting to note that people who come to me for spirit medium readings have actually been prompted to do so by their heavenly support teams. Your loved ones in heaven contact the loved ones in heaven who are helping me with my work on earth. Together, they begin the collaboration process to facilitate our meeting with one another.

Your heavenly support team knows when and how you would benefit from direct communications from your loved ones in spirit and the angels, and they ensure that you receive information that prompts you to set up an appointment with a spirit medium. Usually the prompting is both internal and external. You may receive messages and signs that stir your curiosity about mediumship or a reading, and you may have seemingly coincidental experiences occur in which a friend suddenly starts talking about spirit communication, or you see or read something that piques your interest about heaven and receiving messages from the Other Side.

Additionally, your loved ones in spirit will chime in by placing signs in your path that remind you of them and to, hopefully, prompt you to seek out a spirit medium or knowledge that will help you to interpret the signs and messages they send you. To get your attention, your loved ones in spirit may send you signs in the form of objects or images that make you think of them, unusual electronic disturbances that alert you to their presence, music that touches your soul and answers your prayers, and scents piped into the air, such as their perfume or cigarette smoke. Your heavenly support team will also send you intuitive messages in their attempts to steer you toward a meeting with a particular spirit medium, book, or positive path for growth.

Free Will is a Beautiful Gift
What you do with your life lessons and the promptings you receive is your choice. You may choose to ignore the assistance that makes itself known in your life every day, or you can choose to open yourself to the growth and healing that is available. Your loved ones in heaven and your angels want to help you succeed, and they will do what they can to help you on your journey. When you choose to ignore lessons and assistance, you tend to make your journey on earth significantly more challenging for yourself. When you keep an open mind and embrace the mentality that life is a spiritual journey for the benefit of the soul, then you can learn how to live your life in a way that allows the greatest benefit while releasing self-imposed stress, grief, and sadness. The beauty of the gift of free will is that each one of us is given the power to control the choices we make that govern our lives.

You Can Take It With You!
Even though someone may be physically separated from you on earth, your relationship with that person, as well as the love you share, continues on. Your loved ones in spirit watch over you from heaven, they hear your thoughts about them, and feel the love that you send their way. In return, they continuously send you messages of love, healing, and guidance, as well signs that they are around.

Receiving Closure
Your loved ones in spirit know how you would benefit from receiving information that provides healing to your heart and your soul. When participating in a spirit medium reading, they will share with you their love, information about what they are doing in heaven, advice for you about your life, information that will help heal your heart and soul, and more. The peace and healing that comes from receiving direct messages from your loved ones in spirit through a spirit medium reading can provide comfort and closure to those who are grieving, as well as guidance and light for you and your loved ones on earth.

Namaste!

With Light and Love,
Karen T. Hluchan

Spirit Medium, Motivational Speaker, Reiki Master, & Author of How Have You Loved?

www.HealingSpiritWithLove.com