“Awaken Your Senses” by Christine Cherpak


Dear Fellow Grieving Siblings,


As we enter the peak of Autumn, the leaves are rich in color, falling from the trees, and beginning to crackle beneath our feet. For some this might bring comfort, for others heartache: memories of our loved ones abound to remind us of treasured pastimes and “blank” futures. It is likely that our emotions will be scattered as Thanksgiving approaches. While we might find ourselves or others uttering the euphemistic phrase “I am thankful for the times I had with him/her (please insert your loved one’s name),” it does not always bring much comfort and often seems to be an “automatic” or “reflex” response. What many of us truly wish to say (and, yes, you have permission to do so), is that while we are thankful for the times we had with our loved ones, we are pained, angry, and saddened because we do not have our loved ones with us to create new memories.


There is no denying that our hearts ache and mourn for another moment with our loved ones. Please recognize this and give yourself permission to say it, feel it, and express it. Your memories and grieving might prompt you to laugh and cry at once, but I am certain doing so will nurture your heart, clear your eyes, and remove toxins that accumulated from your unexpressed emotions. May your moment of crying and laughing be the perfect prelude to assist you in making Thanksgiving the best that it can be. While your loved one will not be next to you at the table, s/he is always in your heart and is surely part of those “blank” futures: your thoughts of him/her on the holiday will integrate into the day’s happenings, which naturally transform into new memories; ideal or not, they are moments to be treasured. This Thanksgiving, harvest your heart with the old and the new, gathering and loneliness, and tears and laughter.

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 November and a peaceful Thanksgiving.








One day is there of the series

Termed Thanksgiving day,

Celebrated part at table,

Part in memory.

Neither patriarch nor pussy,

I dissect the play;

Seems it, to my hooded thinking,

Reflex holiday.

Had there been no sharp subtraction

From the early sum,

Not an acre or a caption

Where was once a room,

Not a mention, whose small pebble

Wrinkled any bay,—

Unto such, were such assembly,

’T were Thanksgiving day.


–Emily Dickinson