Missing your loved ones during the holidays


The holidays are a time of family gatherings, traditions, gifts and spirituality.  It’s a magical time for children and adults alike. It’s also a time many of us miss our loved ones who are no longer with us. After someone  important dies the holidays are often never the same again.


Traditions, events, parties, songs, movies.. the grief triggers are everywhere. Many cope with their loss by avoiding conversation about their loved ones or just being in denial. Here are some ways of coping with loss during this time.

My loved ones are always in my heart. I miss them even more when we have celebrations. Their absence is deafening. Keeping our loved one’s memory alive helps us cope. You can continue to make them a part of your holiday season.

Here some ways to remember loved ones during the holidays:

1. Photos: Leave old photo albums around, or make an album featuring your loved one. Before you know it you’ll be reminiscing and telling stories with family and friends.

2. Get out the old home videos. Yes it can be emotional and painful, but it also might be comforting to see your loved one up on the TV screen.

3. Wrap up a few of your loved one’s old things and give them to family and friends who will appreciate them. Write a card letting them know why you chose to give them this particular item. They will love the gift and the sentiment.

4. You can create a special place for people to write down memories. Put out a marker and paper or plain wooden ornaments. Friends and family can hang the ornaments or leave the memories in an empty gift box. When everyone is gathered together, read the memories aloud.

5. Donate to a cause in your loved ones name. Try  and choose a charity your loved one would have supported.

6. When you see a gift your loved one would have liked, go ahead and buy it. Donate it to a charity or give it to someone as gift.

7. Volunteer your time to others in need. You might choose a cause your loved one worked with or supported.

8. Light a candle in honor of your loved one. Leave it burning during days when you think you’ll miss them the most.

9. Invite your family and friends to a holiday potluck. Ask guests to make a dish that your loved one liked.

10. Buy or make a memorial ornament.

11. Use your loved one’s old recipe(s) to make holiday cookies or a holiday dinner.

12. Visit or spend time in a place where you feel close to your loved one. You could also spend time watching their favorite holiday movies or listening to their favorite holiday songs.

13. Take the trip you have been planning or dreaming about.

14. Give a framed photo of your loved one to people who also miss them.

15. Spend time talking about your loved one with family and friends. Express your feelings…cry if you need to.

16. Take care of yourself. Attend a workshop or support group for people dealing with a loss during the holidays. Remember that your loved one would have wanted you to have the support you need.


Unfortunately I’ve lost a lot of loved ones…family and friends. I think about them often. I’m always grateful that I believe in the hereafter and that someday I will reunite with my loved ones. For now, I choose to keep their memories alive and enjoy the loved ones who are here. I choose not to take them for granted and do my best to be present with them.

I wish you all peace and love during this wonderful season.













The Spirit of Giving

8d198c11ef3455d0684ccca9a4bf6f7cIt’s a wonderful time of the year, filled with family, friends and holiday cheer. All of us are busy running around shopping for gifts for our loved ones. We love to see the excitement on our children’s faces as they open up their gifts. It’s also a great time to teach them to give to others. I always speak to my daughter about how fortunate she is whenever she complains about something frivolous. Being an Afghan-American, I constantly speak to her about the children of Afghanistan and how much they are suffering. They would give anything to live in a comfortable house, have something to eat every day and be loved and taken care of.1917471_102814043077603_6419137_n



Recently I told her about my friend David Mason and how he lives every day of his life giving to the children of Afghanistan. I met David almost twelve years ago when I took a trip to Afghanistan. He had left his career as a dancer in Denmark just a year before I met him and began the Afghan Educational Circus for children. Thirteen years later he is still living there. His circus, performs live shows for millions of children all over the war torn country. His performers get a sense of accomplishment and at the same time help put smiles on the faces of children that have grown used to death, destruction and poverty. His theatre pieces range from teaching good hygiene to landmine awareness to peace education.


The MMCC (Mobile Mini Circus for Children) are trying to organize a winter program for over 500 underprivileged children this January and February in Kabul and Bamyan.

1917471_102069309818743_5494221_nFor those two months, the children will be safe from the cold and bitterness of the winter. They’ll learn English, computers and different artistic, social and life skills. That’s something that they then can take back to their families and communities.


If everyone who reads this blog makes a small donation toward the winter program we can make a significant impact to over 500 children in Afghanistan. Every year many children freeze to death in the country.

Internally displaced Afghan children pose for a photo as they stand in the snow outside their shelter at a refugee camp in Kabul

Log on to this website and give what you can to raise money for this very worthy cause. Not many of us can be like my friend David. He is a very special kind of human being. Every single one of us can make a difference.

Get into the giving spirit and help a child in need. Just log onto www.igg.me/at/Afghanistan and give what you can.


For more information on David Mason’s Mobile Mini Circus for Children, just log onto www.AfghanMMCC.org

Your children will learn to be compassionate and giving human beings by following your lead. They mirror us in every way.

Happy Holidays to us all. I’ll use a quote from Wayne Dyer, a man I admire and am lucky enough to have met several times. “We need to see that we are a collective, thinking of ourselves as separate from others, we lose the power of our Source and diminish the whole of humanity.”