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Adapted from Gerald Hill, Chaplain, Mt. Diablo Hospital and Medical Center, Concord, CA

Here are several suggestions for getting the most out of the upcoming holidays. We suggest that you try one or two of them, or use these to spark some other ideas that will be personal and meaningful to you. Even though there may be some emotional pain connected with doing activities like these, we believe there will also be a special kind of healing in them.

1. Give a SPECIAL GIFT in memory of your loved one. Join the gift- giving emphasis of the holidays by giving a gift of some kind, e.g., a flowering plant to a favorite instution like a nursing home, church or temple.

2. Give a GIFT OF MONEY, if you can afford it, to others who are disadvantaged and having a hard time of it. Give the gift in memory of your loved one. You might choose a cause that was important to your loved one.

3. ENGAGE IN AN ACTIVITY that you and your loved one especailly enjoyed. You might choose to do this alone, or with other family or friends. Some examples of this would be like going to a play, going fishing or taking a trip to a favorite place.

4. During the holidays begin some kind of NEW TRADITION OR RITUAL that is meaningful to you. An example of this might be the lighting of a special candle during the holiday season. The candle could symbolize both the one you lost and light for the path ahead of you into the future.

5..To rephrase an old saying, "It is just a blessed (and appropriate) to receive as to give." In that spirit, GIVE YOURSELF SOME KIND OF SPECIAL GIFT during the holidays. You might try to imagine something which your loved one would have given you or done for you if he or she were here, and do that for yourself.

6. HAVE SOME PHOTO ALBUMS OUT, including pictures of holidays past. Talk with others about the past, and about what you are feeling now. This will bring healing and help you to become free to move into the future.