Dec 21, 2015

Feeling sad at this time of year ... or focusing on the wonderful memories

This is always a very difficult time of year for most of us.

Feeling sad at this time of year ... or focusing on the wonderful memories

We feel often sad and a sense of loss, when we could be feeling happy during the holiday season.

By Bob DeMarco
Alzheimer's Reading Room

For those of us who have lost a loved one feeling sad at this time of year is normal. But for some it can be very burdensome.

As I sit here thinking about this my body seems to be getting some kind of strange reaction. It feels kind of tingling. A rather odd feeling that I don't know if I have ever experienced it before. It is kind of all encompassing.

Of course I am thinking about my mom, Dotty; and about my dad, Frank, and others.

A good friend of mine who lost his wife at a young age about 5 years ago is feeling very sad.

I asked him, do you think your wife would want you to be feeling sad? Or, would she want you to be happy?

Feelings of sadness are normal and they are about your brain. How are you using your brain to deal with the situation?

I find it is very helpful to think about happy times. To think of your now lost loved one in positive terms. Think about the good things in life you shared with them. Think of a time when they made you laugh or made you feel happy. Think about a great trip you took, or a great time you had together.

Aha, are they really gone? Or, are they still with you? Are they gone or are they still alive in your memories?

There is nothing wrong with feeling sad. These feelings tell you are alive. You are still feeling life and everything that comes with life.

But if you can feel sad, you can also feel happy. The brain gives you the ability to choose what you are thinking and feeling at any point in time.

So I encourage each and everyone of you to choose. When you feel sad, try thinking about a positive memory. I know this is not so easy to do, so you must practice.

Talking with someone who knew your loved one well also helps. You can talk about the good times. The memories. Take note, they are still alive within you.

Here is what I believe. I believe your love one would want you to be happy. I believe they would want you to remember them fondly. I think in doing this you will actually make them feel happy.

Once you try this you might just find that they send a message to your brain. Choose happiness.

No this is not so easy to do. But, I believe each of those loved one's is still alive within us.

Call up their spirit and let it encompass you. Then choose.

My mom, Dotty, enriched my entire life. I don't think she minds me feeling sad. But I know for certain that she would prefer for me to remember her fondly. Not sadly.

And that is exactly what I am going to try and do on Christmas day.

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Bob DeMarco is the Founder of the Alzheimer's Reading Room (ARR). Bob is a recognized expert, writer, speaker, and influencer in the Alzheimer's and Dementia Community worldwide. The Alzheimer's Reading Room contains more than 5,000 articles and has been published daily since July, 2009.

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