Searching for Home Base – Death of a Loved One at Holiday Time
Searching for Home Base
By Sally Sacks
By Sally Sacks
The holidays are a time when we think of loved ones that can’t be with us. Many think of a parent, spouse or a child who cannot be there because they have passed away. I was reminded of this recently when a lovely woman called for counseling. She was unsure of why she was so lost for the past three years since her parents died.
She felt so lost, not herself, and sad. Her father had been gone for three yeas and her mother for five. I thought of two of my own relatives who lost a parent on Thanksgiving. In one of my relatives, for a very strong person, you could see the sadness and thoughtfulness, and feel the loss he was carrying even after all these years.
I began to think of this loss of our parents as a loss of home base. I was reminded of my portable office phone. When it’s too far from its base it won’t register and blinks “searching for base”.
Our first home or “base” is our parents for better or for worse. We then grow up and create our own base with our new family. No matter how problematic a parent or loved one may or may not be, when they are gone, they are gone. The loss of parents or loved ones often creates a significant emotional void. This is the feeling of a child left all alone in the world searching for a home base and all the love and security associated with it.
The holidays may always remind us that we can no longer see our passed loved ones. That feels like a huge loss that may linger for many years. It is very important to mend the emotional void of their loss by keeping your loved one’s spirit alive. Their spirit’s live on in us.
Every time I shop at the Armenian markets in Watertown Massachusetts, I remember my grandmother feeling the eggplants and sweet melons. I do the same. She is alive in me shopping, looking, feeling touching, and smelling the delectable meats.
How to Keep Their Spirits with You
- Say a prayer for them remembering something about them, and sharing it with the others
- Remember their favorite holiday
- Place photos of them around the house during the holidays
- Prepare their favorite dish
- Light a candle in their honor
- Wear an item of their clothing, or something that reminds you of them.
- Tell a story about them
- Pick out something that they would have loved to have on that day.
- Tell one of their jokes
Remember that spirits of people in your memory are strong, if you look for them, and never die. They live through you, and are all around you.
And one more thing, Bon Appetit!
|Sally Sacks, M.Ed is a licensed psychotherapist, with 20 years of experience, counseling individuals, children, families and couples. Sally is the author ofwww.sallysacks.com.|
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