Monday, December 23, 2013

Tis' The Season: Life Lessons From The Dogs

Are you feeling a couple of "la's" short of a "Fa-la-la-la-la" this season? By all accounts, we have been thrust headlong into the midst of a socially-imposed time of celebration. That's just fine if one  feels like celebrating. During this arguably most joyous of seasons, it is good to remember in our midst are those who are hurting, grieving and wanting to curl up and wait for the season to pass. Others may be feeling numb or in denial, but that's a different topic altogether.

So, what do you do if you find yourself not feeling much like celebrating because you're experiencing
the pain of a loved one now gone? When my Mom died nine days before Christmas, I didn't give much thought to what the rest of my holiday season might look like. Oddly - or not - my dogs (shown above in the picture from that Christmas) were a constant reminder of the valuable lesson to go with the flow. I celebrated (aka played) when I had the energy and also took time to curl up and just be when that was more my speed. 

What simple lessons have you learned to help you balance loss during a season of hope?

For additional resources, please visit our grief support section on our website.

This blog entry was written by Laura Adams, Administrative Assistant with The Arbor Hospice Foundation. You may contact Laura by commenting below or emailing her at


  1. Great post, Laura! "Going with the flow" is something I'm always working on, but especially during the holidays. For me personally another lesson I have learned and try to put into practice is acknowledging the elephant in the room, namely that most of my family and friends are missing deceased loved ones at the holidays. So if I'm thinking of my grandmother, for example, who died in 2006, I try to vocalize that with family by sharing a holiday memory of her. I think this is a great way to keep those who are no longer physically present included in the holidays. Especially since chances are, we are thinking of them anyways.

    1. Becca, love the idea of acknowledging the "absent" and making them "present" -- really helps to honor their memories. Of course, it always helps to focus on the good/fun memories!