17 Dec Managing Grief During the Holidays
For many of us the holidays are some of the toughest halls we find ourselves in after a loss. The way we handle our loss is as individual as our fingerprint – meaning we handle loss in our own “unique” way. There are moments during the holidays where we hear a song, smell something in the air, eat something, see something and suddenly we find ourselves sad and missing a loved one. There are also moments where we catch ourselves doing “ok”. We notice that we are experiencing moments of deep connection, love, a sense of peace and sometimes laughter.
What I have learned is that there is no right or wrong way to grieve, AND, as we move through the holidays, it is very important to be gentle, kind, patient and compassionate towards ourselves. I also believe that we have the opportunity to experience the holidays in a new way – and we get to choose how. Having said that I also believe that we have the right to change our minds as many times as we need to at any time during the process. It is important to me that I am honest with my loved ones and honor my truth and simply say – “I’m just not up to this right now.”
I received an email this week on this subject from a teacher I have been studying with for many years – David Kessler. David put together a list of ways “to externalize the loss and give it a time and place.” I was moved by these suggestions and thought I would pass them on (see below). For those of you unfamiliar with him, David is considered one of the world’s foremost experts on healing and loss. He is the author of many books, including a book he co-authored with my beloved teacher, Louise Hay – You Can Heal Your Heart: Find Peace After Breakup, Divorce or Death. David has also co-authored best sellers with Elisabeth Kubler-Ross and wrote a best-selling hospice book – The Needs of the Dying, that received praise by Saint Mother Teresa.
In closing, I offer to you my prayer this holiday season and every day ~ May you be safe. May you have peace in your mind, may you have peace in your body, may you have peace in your heart. May you be an instrument of peace. And so it is. May God bless you always and in all ways.
Sending you peace from the north fork of Long Island
~ Colleen ~
This is a picture of the Sea of Galilee- the largest freshwater lake in Israel – it was taken by one of our fellow pilgrims of peace during our tour through the Holy Land in April 2019, hosted by davidji and the mindful skater girl, Shelly Tygielski
About Colleen Doumeng
Colleen M. Doumeng received her Advanced Meditation Teacher Certification from the davidji Meditation Academy after completing over 1000 hours of training. Colleen has traveled and studied extensively with Dr. Wayne Dyer, davidji, Louise Hay, Ram Dass & Pema Chondron. Colleen advanced on her spiritual path after a “dark night of the soul” at the tender age of 33 when she was suddenly diagnosed with tongue cancer. She had no coping skills to prepare her for the onslaught of fear and roller coaster emotions. Fortunately and magically a book came into her life at that time – You Can Heal Your Life by Louise Hay. This book immediately became her steady companion. Colleen credits the teachings in this book such as learning that she could change her life by changing her thoughts for changing the trajectory of her journey forward.
Colleen also volunteers destressifying and relaxation breathing techniques and leads guided meditations at Mondays at Racine (a cancer care program, which provides complimentary services and support therapies to men, women and their families undergoing treatment). She resides on the North Shore of Long Island, where she and her husband enjoy spending time with their five adult children, spouses, and nine grandchildren.
Visit www.colleenmdoumeng.com to learn more about Colleen.