Especially during the holiday season, those that have left us come to mind. Their presence is missed in a tangible way. Whether they departed years, months or days ago, it makes very little difference. They’ll come to mind when you see something you’d like to share but stop short when you realize they aren’t there to see it. Perhaps you have a difficult problem and would love to talk it over with them as you have in times past.

It is hard when we lose someone close, be it a family member or friend. The challenge during the holidays is to find a way to cope and not let the blues get a toe hold. I have lost many in my family. I have lost a coworker and a friend from my USMC time in the past year. In my life so far, the hardest has been my siblings. They were young and both deaths came as a shock. It does get better with time even though the holidays bring the memories a little closer and the missing a little sharper. The 1 year anniversary of my coworker’s death is coming up Dec. 13th.

My latest loss is the one that bothers me the most right now. 37 years ago in 29 Palms, CA I met a wonderful man. We were close during that time but our life paths took different directions. An important part of our friendship: we kept no secrets from each other. Total honesty is rare in this day and age. I am glad we got to meet and spend quality time together. Kim had been on my mind the past year or so. I thought of trying to look him up on Facebook to get in touch and see how he was doing. From what I remembered of him, I didn’t believe he would give me a curt shut down if I made contact. My regret … I waited too late. My friend, Kim Cady, passed away on Sept. 17, 2012. He was one month shy of turning 60. If there is someone you would like to reconnect with, my advice is don’t put it off. They are on your mind for a reason.

I will meet the challenge of the holidays by making a donation to Kim’s church in his name. I will also donate to a local food pantry in memory of my coworker and my family members. Even though I can’t give them gifts or talk with them, I can do something ‘In Memorial’ that will help me deal with the loss. It is a perfect way for me to remember them … helping others as I remember the goodness in those who are gone.

Perhaps something like this would help you face the Challenges of the Holidays.

By Anita

My Life Motto: Live, Laugh, Love! My 3 children and 4 grandchildren are my heart! These are the important things to me. I have done many diverse things throughout my work and life: too much to add here. I try to stay positive in a world where negative seems to be the norm. That's not to say you won't see a rant or two in my posts :-)

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