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  I don’t do New Year’s resolutions. I just don’t have the will power. Besides, the moment you “blow it”, (which is usually by January 2nd) you give up on your resolutions, and slip back into more of the “same old, same old.” I prefer to set GOALS. Things I want to accomplish in 2018. Goals are something you can keep working towards. For many people, this past year may have brought many changes. Sometimes after a loss, the way people see everything in their world changes. At times we may even regard OURSELVES differently. But we have to be careful. Not too long ago, I was having trouble with my eyes. I just couldn’t seem to focus on the print in the newspaper, and everything seemed just a little foggy. I made an appointment with my ophthalmologist, who checked my eyes and pronounced that all was well. When I told him about my problem, he took my glasses, examined the lenses through a light, squirted some liquid from a spray bottle, and cleaned them with a tissue. Then he put the glasses back on my face. WOW, everything looked so CLEAR! You see trouble wasn’t with my eyes or …

Remember the mournful cry of the old song , “All I want for Christmas is my two front teeth?”   If I were to ask you all you want for Christmas this year, I think I know what it would be. All I wanted for Christmas 1983 was my wife back, for life to be back to normal, or for things to be the way they were the last Christmas before she died.   Perhaps you can understand those feelings. After losing someone we care about, it does NOT feel like “The most wonderful time of the year”. Oh, it’s more than the usual “bah humbug!” stuff.  This year Christmas is going to be different for you, yet the world doesn’t seem to notice or care. A myriad of Christmas images still flood your senses: chestnuts roasting on an open fire; sleigh bells in the snow; stockings on the mantle awaiting Santa’s visit. “’Tis the season to be jolly”, they say …  but you feel anything BUT jolly.   In fact, this year the Christmas bells may have a different ring for you. Circumstances have meant a significant change in your life. Perhaps someone you care about has died. There …

In this season of giving, I have three gifts to offer for a grieving Christmas. My first Gift is for YOU: Maybe you are facing this Christmas season with dread: Recognize that this Christmas is different. Plan Ahead. Decide what YOU want to do. Act rather than react. Re-examine your priorities Avoid “shoulds” and “oughts” Make the changes you think are best Take responsibility for your own happiness. Look after Yourself. Don’t abandon healthy habits Be compassionate with yourself if things are not perfect this year The next Gift focuses on YOUR LOVED ONE: They may be gone, but they will be very much on your mind: Acknowledge your loved one’s presence Light a Memorial candle to remember them at this season Create a special tribute to your loved one. Involve children in this if you can Be honest about your feelings, and be sensitive to what they are trying to say to you Don’t be afraid to Relive your Memories Let the light of the years shine on the event rather than letting the event cast its shadow on the years My third gift has to do with FAMILY AND FRIENDS: Others around are probably grieving too. How can …

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