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A plan for the holidays

A plan for the holidays

Posted: Thursday, December 11, 2008 9:24 pm
By: By Don Harold Lawrence

My father, Donovan Holder Lawrence, was one of the most organized people I have ever known, and one of the most significant things he taught me is the importance of developing a workable, common-sense plan for dealing with the problems that arise in one’s life. Whether he was dealing with simple issues or a major crisis, Dad approached each problem rationally, pragmatically and calmly, and he would fashion a plan for dealing with each situation. Since the holidays are stressful and depressing for many bereaved people, one of the most practical things one can do is to design a personal plan that enables one to navigate his/her way through the myriad of situations that arise between Thanksgiving and New Years Day. Because a bereaved person’s life is so shattered and disorganized due to the death of a loved one, developing a personal plan for dealing with grief during the holidays restores the structure and stability in one’s life. It also provides a means of methodically considering and dealing with each of the things that are happening. One can arrange things according to the order of their importance and dispense with those things that are of lesser importance. Creating a personal plan is important for bereaved people during any time of the year, but is especially helpful during the holidays because the season is filled with extraordinary schedules, demands, and responsibilities, and a personal strategy offers one an opportunity to look at the “big picture” and decide on priorities. A personal plan also enables the bereaved person to simplify life and regain control of their life, and this plays an important role in the process of recovery. Listening to our inner-self guides us in the development our personal plan because our inner self will reveal our specific needs during the holiday season. Another factor that will guide you in developing your plan for dealing with grief during the holidays is your capacity to do certain things. You know your limitations. Be guided by what you can and cannot do. Regardless of the pressures that are exerted upon you due to the expectations of others, plan to do only what you are able to do at this time. Do not feel a need to make apologies or provide explanations for your decision. Do not choose to feel guilty because of what you have decided to do and not do. After all, this is your life! Don Harold Lawrence is coordinator of SUNRISE, which is sponsored by Shackelford Corporation. He may be contacted by mail at 145 Abernathy Drive, Adamsville, TN 38310-3001 or by telephone or fax at (731) 632-4483. His Web address is Published in The Messenger 12.11.08

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