“Awaken Your Senses” by Christine Cherpak


Dear Fellow Grieving Siblings,


Winter is before us and we are amidst the pains of the holidays without the physical presence of our loved ones. While no words will ever be capable of removing the dampness from our souls, I am confident that thoughts of our loved ones will provide us with glimmers of light to lead us through our darkness. Even fleeting flickers of light are strong enough to sustain us on our journeys through life. Be present each time you are graced with light from memories of your loved ones: the light will power you for the moment. There is no reason to jump ahead, worrying about the future. I assure you that another flash of light will come. Placing one foot in front of the other and trusting that all will be provided is the code to living a purposeful life. Galloping mindlessly for fear of losing it all will rob you of enjoyment. Despite the dark canvas of our grief, light is a symbol of life. It is so strong that a single flicker, unable to be extinguished against a dark backdrop, produces visible results. As we celebrate the season of light, identify the gentle guidance your heart and soul seek. It is there for your taking: absorb it, feel it, savor it. Life is changed forever since the deaths of our loved ones, but we are invited us to continue walking in trust.


Please let me know if you have any suggestions and/or comments. And do not hesitate to let me know if I can be of any assistance. Also, consider submitting your own work of art as a feature for one of our monthly pieces. Establishing a memorial foundation in honor of your loved one is also a work of creation. If you would like your organization to be highlighted be sure to provide us with the details! I wish you a blessed and peaceful holiday season.






Love never disappears for death is a non-event.

I have merely retired to the room next door.

You and I are the same; what we were for each other, we still are.

Speak to me as you always have, do not use a different tone, do not be sad.

Continue to laugh at what made us laugh.

Smile and think of me.

Life means what it has always meant.

The link is not severed.

Why should I be out of your soul if I am out of your sight?

I will wait for you, I am not here, but just on the other side of this path.

You see, all is well.

–St. Augustine


I encourage you to participate in the following activity to symbolize the light in your life . . . past, present, and future


Memory Candles

Light four candles in honor of your loved one: one for your GRIEF, one for your COURAGE, one for your MEMORIES and one for your LOVE.


GRIEF Candle: The pain of losing you is intense. It reminds me of the depth of my love for you.


COURAGE Candle: To confront my sorrow; to comfort each other, to change my life.


MEMORY Candle: The times we laughed, the times we cried, the times we were angry with each other, the silly things you did, the caring and joy you gave me.


LOVE Candle: As I enter this holiday season, day by day I cherish the special place in my heart that will always be reserved for you. I thank you for the gift your living brought to me. I love you.


Adapted from Holiday Help: Coping for the Bereaved, by Sherry Gibson, B.S., R.N. and Sandra Graves, Ph.D.