Navigating Christmas Without A Loved One


“You will lose someone you can’t live without, and your heart will be badly broken, and the bad news is that you never completely get over the loss of your beloved. But this is also the good news. They live forever in your broken heart that doesn’t seal back up. And you come through. It’s like having a broken leg that never heals perfectly—that still hurts when the weather gets cold, but you learn to dance with the limp.” 
Anne Lamott

Christmas is not always an easy time. There are many of us for whom Christmas brings stark reminders of families broken, loved ones lost, and empty chairs at our tables.

If you are navigating Christmas this year while also grieving loss or going through great struggle I want to reach out to you. In the midst of the barrage of happy Christmas movies, fairytale endings and Hallmark Moments I want you to know that I am sorry for your pain, and the hardship this time of year can bring. Please also know you’re not alone. There are many of us whose hearts hurt at Christmas, even as we celebrate, because of loss. If your grief is raw and new it’s also okay to put things on hold, to do things differently, or to let the anniversary days like Christmas slide by unacknowledged until you are ready to face them again.

I’d like to share something I do at Christmas that may be useful for you too. I have found it helpful and healing to make a private little Christmas Altar each year. This way I remember the dead, the absent, the lost. An altar is simply a small dedicated spiritual space that is meaningful to you in some way.

On my altar I place fresh flowers, a candle and some favourite crystals. Things that bring me comfort, and a sense of sacred. Then I place photos or objects that represent a loved one who will not be at my table. That way I can still have them near me, and I can flow love to them and have them be part of my life over the festive season.

The beautiful big owl in the photo above was given to me one Christmas by my friend Angela. She passed away a few years ago. It will be central to my display.

I’ll place a tiny wooden boat for my brother, and a ceramic pelican for my dad. A sparkly stone for my sister and roses for my mum and all of the women in her family who have shaped and grown and loved me. My family all live far from me. But now they are here on my altar even if they cannot be here in person.

I’ll add a photo of Ben’s parents from when they were young, and pictures of my grandparents too. I have cupcake-shaped candles for my darling Kate, who passed away too soon in 2010 ( I went back to her facebook page last night and was lost in there for an hour reading her old posts and laughing at what a dag she was and crying cos sometimes I still miss her more than breathing), and Julie who passed away in 2014. My Grandparents, all now passed, are here in photographs too and I will place a glass of sherry, Christmas Cake and some gingernut biscuits out because these are all the things they would have loved to eat, and later I will eat some and think of them. On Christmas Day I will play The Twelve Days of Christmas by the Ray Conniff Singers, because my Pa used to play that for us every year, and shed a few happy-sad tears.

It’s not the same as having them at my table, but it’s the next best thing. People coming to my house will think that I have simply gathered flowers and candles and photographs and a few ornaments together, but for me it is something healing and emotionally significant that helps me to feel the reassuring weight of my loved ones around me.

Perhaps making your own Christmas Altar will help you this Christmas too.

Sending so much love your way, Nicole ❤ xx

Christmas Full Moon – 2015

“The songs of our ancestors are also the songs of our children”
~ Philip Carr-Gomm

 

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

There is a full moon tonight – Christmas Night, 2015.  (I know, I know, some of you dear readers are only up to Christmas Eve, but I’m in Australia, where it’s tomorrow already!)

It seems quite fitting that we are having this particular full moon on Christmas night. It’s an Ancestors Moon. A pattern-breaking moon. Given that most of us will spend time at Christmas thinking about family, or spending time in their presence, I believe this to be a moon of great potential influence and healing.

This moon truly shines a light on ancestral and family patterns, allowing us opportunity for healing and for ending old patterns within our family line that no longer serve us, and which we do not wish to see repeated within the lives of our children and their children.

I’ve created a simple ritual that you can do at any time today, or tonight, that will help this process of healing and growth within your family.

anistry-2

Christmas Full Moon Ritual

Tools you will need:

A small stone or crystal that you are comfortable to discard. Ten minutes of your time.

Method:

Read through this first, and then perform the ritual. You can do this ritual at any time on Christmas Day or Christmas evening.

  1. Sit or stand somewhere on your own, where you won’t be disturbed. Take your stone in your hand and close your eyes.
  2. Offer up a prayer that all work be for your Highest Good and the Highest Good of your family line.
  3. Feel back in time, and begin to notice and become aware of all of your ancestors. You might have this as a feeling, an intention or idea, or you may get images. Whatever happens for you, know that the ritual is still working.
  4. Feel how all of those souls who came before you, including your own parents and grandparents have shaped you. Don’t judge the relationships. Simply be aware of them.
  5. Feel the love and support for you, and the encouragement from souls in your family line who have passed over. It doesn’t matter that you have not met them. Their history and blood flows in your veins. You are a part of them, and they are a part of you.
  6. Think of a situation, pattern of behaviour, or belief that needs healing or ending within your family right now. Understand that this situation, belief or pattern was needed for learning.
  7. Flow love and light into your stone, and visualise that situation, pattern or belief. Flow that into the stone as well.
  8. Say out loud “I offer myself as the pattern breaker. This energy will end with me.”
  9. Lock the energy into the stone.
  10. Now offer a prayer that this situation, pattern or belief be healed within your family.
  11. Say out loud the words, “I AM, and it is so. Thank you, thank you, thank you.”
  12. Stand or sit in the energy as long as feels right for you. You may receive energy, insights or other gifts now.
  13. When you are ready open your eyes. Lay your stone out under the open sky and the moonlight for the night. If this isn’t possible leave it on a windowsill where it can be exposed to the energy of the Ancestors Moon.
  14. Tomorrow, after the moon has set, take your stone and bury it in the earth, or within the soil of a pot-plant. You could also cast your stone into the river or sea. Let it go. Let it all go now.

The Owl and the Moon by Christy Patino

The Owl and the Moon by Christy Patino