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Those Less Fortunate

Christmas ads are out in full force in the newspaper and on the radio, and TV.  With them come the pleas to help those less fortunate. This year the phrase "less fortunate" has come to take on a whole new meaning meaning for me. Every time I hear it I think of those people who like me will be grieving during the holidays.

I hadn't given much thought to those who are grieving during the holidays before. I guess I have thought of friends without siblings or parents, but I hadn't really thought what it must be like for them. I was consumed with my own life and my own family and was fortunate not to have grief accompany my holiday cheer. And on top of that I hadn't considered that it isn't just the first Christmas that is hard. It is every one.

I have done some searching online. I like to prepare myself as much as possible for any unknown in my life, whether it be moving our cats into a new house, getting a baby to sleep through the night, or in this case the best way to get through the holidays.

I found a list of ways to cope with grief during the holidays on About.com. The first four things on the list all go together; offer yourself some grace, be kind to yourself, ask for and accept help, and find support. This year Hamilton Christmas will be at my brother and sister-in-laws. I am glad not to have to be in charge of organizing a big meal. I also think that having our cleaning lady come in and help us out will be great during the holidays. One less thing to worry about. I have also booked Hugh and I an appointment to see our counsellor right before the holidays. I think I have the first 4 things in check. The 5th suggestion is to make a difference. Hugh and I decided that we would make a donation to the Saskatchewan Children's Hospital in Tripp's name. When I filled out the form and put, "In memory of Tripp Vincent Hamilton" it made me feel like he wasn't being forgotten. I am also excited to participate in our school's food drive. I have already purchased a few items to donate. The 6th suggestion will be the hardest to do; don't make comparisons. I already find this very difficult not to do. As well, I find I can get angry and bitter when I see people mistreating their children or unable to take care of them properly. I can't see this changing during the holidays. I think my desire to steer clear of malls and a bunch of shopping will help eliminate the number of times I come into contact with these people. Lastly the list has, remember, you will survive. And truth be told, as much as I am looking forward to many of the exciting parts of the holidays, part of me just wants to fast forward to January.

I know I can't fast forward, but I will make it to January.

For the first time in my life, I now realize there are two groups of less fortunate at Christmas. Those who can't put food on the table and those who have an empty seat at theirs.

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