Sunday, November 22, 2009

Three Days Until Thanksgiving

This will be a very difficult time of the year for me. But, I have beautiful memories of Thanksgiving last year. Mark's cousin, Steve, and Lea, his beautiful wife, have become closer to me over the last year and they will be sharing this holiday with me. Steve's infamous collard greens were the only thing Mark was able to eat last year, but he loved them so much, he had to try. Nancy will be joining us and we have a scrumptious menu planned. Avow Hospice still sends me the most wonderful mailings and they have sent one that they encourage me to use for the up-coming holiday season. I plan to. I'm going to share it with you - anyone who has a loved one missing from their holiday table can honor the memory so beautifully with this:

Have four candles ready to light and if you can, have family or friends participate with you.

Start by saying: " As we light these candles in honor of our loved one, we light one for our grief, one for our courage, one for our memories and one for our love.

Light the first candle and say "The light of this first candle represents our grief. The pain of our loss is intense, bu it reminds us of the depth of our love for ________ (your loved one).

Light the second candle and say "The light of this candle represents our courage to confront our sorrow; to comfort each other; to change our lives.

Light the third candle and say "This third candle is a light to all of our memories of ______. To the times we laughed, the times we cried, the times we were angry with each other, the silly things we did, the caring and joy _______ gave us.

Light the fourth candle and say "This fourth candle is the light of our love. As we enter this holiday season, day by day, we cherish the special place in our hearts that will always be reserved for ___________. We give thanks for the gift his/her life brought to each of us. We will always love him/her.

This was written by Nancy Moeller, LSW, CADC.

There is not a day that passes that I don't either aloud or silently talk with Mark, and tell him how very much I miss him. The tears are as close to falling today as they were nearly a year ago. I have been angry with myself for not doing more to show him how wonderfully special he was to me; I have been sad beyond words at my loneliness without him. But, I am so grateful I had the opportunity to share nearly eight years of marriage with such a loving, kind man. I keep putting one foot in front of the other and moving forward; but there is no distance between me and this man I love.

Have a very Happy Thanksgiving, everybody. May your table be bountiful and your hearts full of joy and love.