While the end of the year and the holiday season can be a time of joy, it can also be a time of loss and grieving as loved ones pass on or we are reminded of those who shared the holidays with us in the past. The final months of the year do seem to be a time of physical passage. In the last few months, several of my own friends have had to deal with the passing of parents or long-time friends.
Here’s one way to make the passage a bit easier for you, especially if you were not able to say your last goodbyes. In my travels, I once met a German woman who seemed upset and was having a hard time enjoying her vacation. She told my husband and I tearfully that her mother had recently passed on unexpectedly and she had never been able to say her last goodbyes. As I shared this same advice with her, her face suddenly lit up. It had lifted a bit of the burden she felt, and she was very grateful. (You can adapt this same ritual to help you move through and honor the ending of any relationship or incident in your life.)
1. Carve out some quality time alone.
2. Take a clean piece of paper and write a letter to the heart and soul of a parent, partner, or friend who has moved on. Tell them in this inner message how you feel and what you most appreciated about them. Let them know what you didn’t get to tell them, perhaps even what you regret about your relationship over the years and any pain you felt.
3. Even if you had a difficult relationship with this person, make a point in your letter of recognizing the gifts that he or she passed on to you or the strengths you developed as a result of your relationship.
4. Then burn the letter (be sure to do it in a safe place!) as you ask God (using whatever name you prefer to address the creative Spirit of the universe) to carry this message at inner levels to those who have passed on.
Physical rituals like this can help you bring closure, find a sense of peace, and move on more quickly.
Remember: The greatest gifts that loved ones give us are the gifts that still live on within us. We honor those who have passed on by discovering what they have given us and allowing those gifts to express through us.
Think about this:
• Are you missing someone in your life?
• What gifts did he/she give you?
• How will you continue to express those gifts in his/her honor?
Tags: grieving, honoring endings, parent, ritual, spiritualityCategories: Endings & Beginnings, Love & Relationships
Great idea. I had not thought of writing to my mother, who passed on before Thanksgiving. I didn’t realize that I did not have a sense of completion until I read your tip.
Interesting, did you plan to continue this article?
Hi, Dolly! Thanks for writing. What are you specifically interested in hearing more about? (By the way, I do cover the topic of “honoring endings” in my book “Honor Yourself: The Inner Art of Giving and Receiving.” Part 3 of my book is devoted to that subject. And I have also posted a few articles on the subject on my website. Check out this page for a list of articles. To see the table of contents for “Honor Yourself” go here.)
Thanks for sharing, Sandra. I hope this tip brings you greater peace. My best to you.