With the results of the election, holidays and inauguration looming I am feeling tension and unlike myself lately.
I chalked it up to the full moon and it’s power of making waves. In fact, there has been a cataclysm of events making waves. Lately, I have been hanging on to hope and resiliency. I stare at a photo of 6 year old Ruby Bridges who endured and triumphed standing as a metaphor and reminder that “what doesn’t kill you does in fact make you stronger”. At 6, Ruby Bridges showed a courage that resonates today. I had the opportunity of listening to Ruby Bridges speak in 2015 at the annual NAEYC conference. The kind of courage and poise she personifies and how it connects with us, children, families and educators will be written about in a later blog.
Holidays are hard for many. For a lot of my own life, holidays were often off for me and awkward. There are empty chairs of those we miss and love. You feel the infinite loss and ache of missing loved ones. It is easier to send a gift and/or photo of smiling faces saying Happy Holidays. It is the thought that counts but what do we do for those who feel alone? How do we help others cope during grief or a sense of loss? What gifts can you give to the broken-hearted?
Here are gifts to give:
- Gift of Memory: Take a moment to remember and honor the memory of a loved one by a hug, card or phone call. Although there is an empty chair at the table fill it with memories and honor their memory.
- Gift of hope: We experience both sadness and joy. It’s deeply triggered by the holidays. Show up and offer to help those you care about. From the daily routines to collaging and scrap booking memories.
- Gift of Love: Be in the moment with those who are still living. Show them you love them. If you are the one feeling sad tell them it is hard but stay hopeful.
- Gift of friendship: Invite and include those who feel sad even if they may cancel or decline from shopping to having dinner.
- Gift of Surprise and Spontaneity: Encourage doing something unusual such as a road trip or a flight to visit loved ones still here. Follow through.
- Give the gift of time: Its about time well spent with those you love so spend it wisely. Spend some time whether over coffee, a movie, a stop by visit or something special to do together
- Give the gift of food for the soul whether baked goods or a home cooked meal to enjoy together
- The gift of listening: remember, it’s not not knowing what to say but listening and being there.
Looking for more gift ideas? Visit Sympathy Solutions at:
Most of all, ensure to reach out, don’t expect someone who feels alone to reach out to you.