Archive for the ‘Mind, Body, Spirit’ Category

Memories

I have decided that Grief is like a monster I would see in a horror movie that at times threatens to swallow me whole. As the shock of my husband’s passing wears off, the holidays approach, and the realization of him truly being gone sets in there are times Grief is my constant companion. Lurking with his stinky breath right over my shoulder. Feeding on my tears and sadness.
I recently read an article on grief by Steve Wentworth and he describes how you can feel like you are standing on the precipice of a bottomless chasm and nothing can fill the void. What he suggests is rather than focusing on the loss, focus on memories of happy times with your loved one. So that is what I am going to do.


Here is one memory I came up with. The first year we were married I decided it would be great fun to cut down our own Christmas tree. To say my husband was not handy is an understatement but he agreed to go. It was a cold frosty winter’s day in Buffalo and we set out to a local Christmas tree farm. My husband was carrying a small hatchet and was as usual not dressed properly. He had not boots on, a light jacket and that was about it. I found the perfect tree and my husband gazed skeptically at it thinking it may be too big. I immediately replied it was just the right size and he pointed out to me that these trees look smaller when surrounded by 12′ trees. I insisted this was the one I wanted and he chopped it down with his hatchet. Now mind you I am saying hatchet not axe or saw so this took quite a bit of time. I can picture him now swinging it wildly and swearing at the same time. He finally chopped it down, tied it to the top of the car and home we went. We carried it up to the apartment and it barely fit through the door. There was no way it could stand straight up as it was way too tall. “Yes I was right.” my husband grumbled and pulled out his trusty hatchet. He shaved a good 2′ off the tree and up it went. One of the things we did not notice out in the forest was that my perfect tree had a decided kink in the trunk. The next challenge was getting it straight in the stand. The swearing continued and we finally got it up right. As I type this I find myself chuckling. My husband promised this was the Last year he was cutting down any tree and indeed it was.

This week on The Night Shift, 12/6 at 7:00 PM Eastern we will talk about happy times spent with our departed loved ones. Share stories that bring a laugh or two. Join us in the Facebook chat room https://www.facebook.com/groups/183716975330317/ or right here on our w4cy chat. Mini readings with the card of the week as well! Miss the live broadcast don’t forget to check out the podcast on iHeart radio. http://www.iheart.com/show/27472847/

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www.susandintino.com

 

Holiday Bucket List

I know most of the time when we think of a bucket list we think of it meaning things we would like to do before we die. To be clear I am not talking about that. I am talking about creating a list of things that you would like to accomplish prior to your holiday and doing your best to make it happen. It can be a stressful time of year so the list would be designed to nurture yourself, get in touch with your inner child, and keep the bah humbugs away.

Now is the perfect time to create this list as Thanksgiving is behind us and all thoughts are on the fastly approaching holidays. Remember the key words in creating this list are fun and joy. Here are some suggestions:

  • Get a real Christmas tree and decorate it the way you remember doing it as a child. Find some old fashioned lights, string popcorn, hang candy canes.
  • Go Caroling
  • Take an afternoon to spend in a bookstore. Get your favorite hot beverage and find some favorite or new holiday book.  Read the book and immerse yourself in the holiday spirit.
  • Have a spa treatment.  This can be a simple manicure, pedicure or go for the works and take a day to just celebrate yourself.
  • Buy yourself a present. Have it gift wrapped and put it under the tree
  • Get your picture taken with Santa Claus.
  • Buy scented candles that remind you of holidays past. I feel fragrance is the best reminder of fun times.
  • Pop some popcorn and binge watch all your favorite Christmas shows. From Charlie Brown’s Christmas to Frosty the Snowman.
  • Create a wacky video Holiday Greeting and share it with family and friends.
  • Look at photos of your childhood holidays. Are there things in these you could recreate? Like a favorite toy or food.
  • Buy yourself a toy. Wrap it and put in under the tree from Santa Claus.
  • Send yourself or buy yourself a bouquet of holiday flowers.

Maybe reading this you are sighing thinking “I only wish I had the time to do this.” I am inviting you to make your best effort. Even if your list is short it will remind you that these days can be much more than just being frantic. That you deserve to have fun and enjoy yourself.

Join me Tuesday, November 29 at 7:00 PM for The Night Shift and we will talk about the Christmas Bucket List. I will be giving away a signed copy of my book Songs of My Life…Slightly Out of Tune to one lucky listener.  I will be doing mini readings and I would love to have you in the Facebook chat as well https://www.facebook.com/groups/183716975330317/

Remember too if you miss the live broadcast you can catch the podcast replay on iHeart radio. http://www.iheart.com/show/209-The-Night-Shift/

www.susandintino.com

Grief and the Holidays

This Thursday is Thanksgiving and this will be the first holiday I will be celebrating since I lost my husband. Since his passing in October, I have gone through a myriad of feelings, shock, grief, anger, grief, disbelief, grief…well you get the idea. I know these holidays will be very different for me and my family. How do we cope? is the question I have been asking myself and did some research to get some ideas as to how we can make this time a bit easier.

First of all the one thing I have realized above all else is that my life has changed and will never be the same. Because that is true for day to day activities it is certainly true for the holidays. It is not a time to pretend that the holidays will be as they were or attempt to duplicate them in that way. It just won’t work. So it is time to begin new traditions. I know we will have to take baby steps with this and we intend to. I have made it a point to communicate with my family as to what my thoughts are and how they feel about them. Some of the suggestions I had they liked and some not some much. The same with their suggestions. It is important to keep the lines of communication open because as we approach this challenging time I want to be sure we are all on the same page.

Researching grief this time of year here are a few suggestions that resonated with me:

  • Change the location of where you usually spend the holidays. This year our family is all going to New York City. Some of us will gather for Thanksgiving dinner others will meet up during the weekend.
  • Create new traditions. Around the Thanksgiving table in addition to sharing what we are grateful for we are all going to share a favorite memory of Thanksgivings past.
  • Include a favorite dish of your loved one in the holiday meal.
  • If there are special items from your loved one that you have been waiting to disperse this could be a good time to do that.
  • Shelters welcome clothes especially winter clothing this time of year. If you are ready may be a good time to start clearing out the closets.
  • Make a donation to a favorite charity in your loved one’s name.
  • Splurge on a gift for you. Remember that self care is so important as you are going through the grieving process and being kind to yourself with nurturing acts should be a top priority.
  • For Christmas we have had a few ideas. A candle lighting ceremony where each family member stands in a circle with a candle. When the first candle is lit the flame is passed to the next candle. The last person lights the candle in the center which represents my husband and their dad.  I also thought it might be fun to pull names and give the person’s name you pulled a gift from dad. Thinking what he might do as he could be quite the gift giver with his last minute shopping!

The most important thing to note here is that you who are grieving should go through the holidays your way. If cards, cooking, decorating,  and even gift giving is too much for you give yourself a break. As soon as you feel yourself doing something because you feel you “have to” or you will feel “guilty” if you don’t hit the pause button. This is a time for you to totally respect your desires and if the people around you don’t understand, than it may be time to use Rhett Butler’s famous line at the end of the movie Gone With Wind. “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn.”

Join me on The Night Shift as we discuss this topic, get our gratitude attitude on and launch the holidays from a positive perspective. Tuesday, 11/22 7:00 PM Eastern.

Join Us in the Facebook Chat https://www.facebook.com/groups/183716975330317/

Visit my website for some great holiday gift ideas www.susandintino.com