Home for the Holidays : Happy Times, Right?

By: Linda Lapointe

HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS: HAPPY TIMES, RIGHT?

WORD COUNT: 285
This time of the year is supposed to be happy. A time when family is warm and welcoming. A time for loving and feeling loved.
We watch the annual TV specials which emotionally choke us up. We watch those traditional, mushy movies like Miracle on 34th Street and It’s a Wonderful Life which bring sentimental tears to our eyes. We watch those heartwrenching Hallmark commercials which make us sob dramatically. All of these portray the ideal and they always end happily.
But real life isn’t like that.
Watching and listening to all the hype and sweetness reminds many of us of our losses.

We think of the things we won’t have this year, or any year ever again. The holiday season is actually the season of much depression and sadness. Just imagine for a moment how many losses a person of 70, 80 or 90 may have endured.
To help us understand those losses, here is a partial list.
Hair
Energy
Parents
Taut skin
Hearing
Stamina
Career
Muscle
Eyesight
Mobility
Attendance at house of worship
Hobbies
Figure
Friends
Car
Siblings
Independence
Spouse
Finances
Choice
Lifelong collections
Personal belongings
Purpose
Home
If the depression persists into the new year, get help from a mental health clinic. To voice the losses and the feelings can sometimes release them. Spend some time with elders this season and listen to their stories.

Linda LaPointe, MRA is an ElderLife Matters Coach who was a long term care administrator. She is the author of several publications which help families with aging issues such as an educational board gameBusiness Management Articles, In My Shoes: An Aging Family. To learn more or get free articles and resources: www.SOSpueblo.com

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