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Some common new-year greetings include expressions such as, “Wishing you happiness and health in the new year,” “Wave goodbye to the old; embrace the new with hope and joy,” and “May the days of a new year be filled with happiness for you.”
As the month of December approached, Kenneth, who was recently widowed after a three-decade marriage, confided in a friend:
“My partner has died; my children are grown and gone. Now what?”
Sooner or later, everyone will experience the death of someone they have loved. When this happens, the result is grief — a natural but unpredictable response to the loss that impacts a person emotionally, mentally, spiritually, and physically.
After her spouse died, a woman wrote in her journal: “I feel like I’m a hamster on a wheel going round and round but going nowhere. Even though Steve died 10 months ago, I still feel like it happened only yesterday. I just can’t stop thinking about him.
After her husband, Jay, died, Sherry Cormier, Ph.D., a psychologist and professor of counseling, took time to grieve, reflect, and then publish an excellent book that is a combination of memoir and grief self-help.
Though the December holiday season inspires feelings of warmth, belonging, connection, and joy for many people, there are other individuals for whom the month is one of increased stress, sadness, anxiety, loneliness, and depression.
You are your own most important resource for making your life work. Life rewards action. Until your knowledge, awareness, insights, and understandings are translated into action, they are of no value.
– Dr. Phil McGraw
The Harvard Men’s Health Watch newsletter recently reported on a study led by T.H. Eric Bui, M.D., Ph.D., associate director for research at the Center for Anxiety and Traumatic Stress Disorders and Complicated Grief Program at Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts General Hospital.
Grieving is taxing on mind, body, and spirit. While it can be tough to face each new day, the challenge can feel enormous when January emerges and a whole new year is stretching out before us.
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