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Paint Your Holiday The Way You Want It To Be


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This article comes to us from Nan Zastrow, bereaved mother and, with her husband Gary, founder of Wings, their grief education outreach ministry to the bereaved. (Nan's article also appears in the current issue of Grief Digest Magazine.

Paint Your Holiday the Way You Want It to Be

by Nan Zastrow, Wausau, Wisconsin



Shirley’s husband of forty-two years died suddenly of a heart condition. Brittany’s husband has served in the U.S. Army in Iraq for the past nine months. This was supposed to be their first Christmas together, but he won’t be home. Martha is homebound and lives in an assisted living facility; her family is hundreds of miles away. Stuart’s son died; everyone asks how his wife is doing, but no one asks how he is feeling. Shelley was recently divorced and lives with her mother, again.

There is a myth that holiday grief affects only those who have a loved one who died. The truth is holiday grief and anxiety affects many people—all experiencing different life-changing situations that challenge them to find a reason for the season. For each, holiday celebrations will change, and they aren’t going to be what they used to be.

Perhaps, you remember the paintings and covers of the Saturday Evening Post during the 50s and 60s? Norman Rockwell’s pictures always told a story. His pictures portrayed American life and values. People rushed to the newsstands to buy the prestigious magazine and find rapture in the scenes he illustrated. His era with Post ended in 1963, but his masterpieces continue to tell the stories of life the way it used to be. [Read the entire article by downloading the attached pdf file.]


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