A ray of hope in the middle of terrible grief.
I just want to share something that has been very helpful, and which I hope may help you, too.
Before the holidays I was sinking deeper and deeper into grief and anxiety - the anticipation of the first Christmas without my Mom (who passed just days before Thanksgiving 2012). I started searching for some way to remember my mother and to celebrate her life, as she had asked me and my sisters and father to do. I did not feel like celebrating, none of us did. But after searching for ideas here and there, I came across a website that seemed to get it right. Check it out:
it's the MISS Foundation, or missfoundation.org.
It was started by a woman who lost her daughter, and though their primary focus is to support those who have lost a child, there is much good information there for anyone who has lost a loved one.
One particular idea from the MISS Foundation was something that resonated deeply with me. Their "Random Act of Kindness" cards have been a ray of hope in the middle of my terrible grief. They offer these free of charge to download and print yourself, or you can order them from the website for a small fee. And they list lots of ideas for how to use these cards to remember your loved one. The business card size is printed with the following message:
This Random Act of Kindness...
Done in loving Memory of
(your loved ones name)
The idea is to fill out the card in advance, and to carry them with you to give anonymously while performing an act of kindness. For example: hold the door open for someone, give flowers to someone who is alone or in a nursing home, bake cookies and donate them, pay for someone's expired parking meter, purchase tickets to a movie for the next one in line, etc...
You get the idea. I gave a few to each of my 3 sisters as part of their Christmas gift. I've used a few myself, and each time I think of Mom and smile and thank her for her life and love....and someone else thinks about her, too. In a way, it's an act of gratitude, a prayer of sorts. It lifts my sagging spirit, and it helps someone else, too. What better way to honor your loved one?
peace, love, hugs to all,