Dates come and go, but certain ones stick out and carry a dark and heavy weight. The energy of these particular dates are associated with a loss.  This anniversary date forces you into a time warp charged with painful memories of the horrid event.  How can you free yourself from this emotionally exhaustive annual pain?  

Start by marking the date with a new and positive tradition. Perhaps if your father passed through VA hospice (like mine), make it an annual tradition to visit a veteran (someone who is grateful for your time).  This might be difficult at first because you’re putting yourself back into the environment of the loss but it will force you to acknowledge, accept and release any pain associated with the death.

Or you might try journaling or writing a letter to allow feelings to flow. It is probable that a source for your pain is the fact that you’re unable to interface and talk to your beloved family member or friend.   Write as if you will be mailing the letter to a friend on vacation.  Once you’re finished burn the letter to release your feelings into the universe.  This action can be freeing.  

Whenever possible, find ways to calm your anxieties with prayer, meditation, leaning on a support system such as talking to a friend, creating a work of art or doing whatever it takes to lift your spirit.   

Realize that your loved one wouldn’t want to see you go through any additional pain reflective of them. Do your best to celebrate and remember the joyous moments you shared with them.    On this day, 3 years ago, I went to the hospital to visit my father in Ann Arbor Michigan and came home in the early AM hours devastated by his passing.

Each year my heart has ached but I do find that when I embrace positivity, heartfelt memories, my faith and volunteer work, I’m able to get through this day and it’s getting easier.  I’m hopeful, I can, someday, manifest a pain-free May 19th.    I keep pushing forward and I hope you do too because our well-being is worth it!

Kathy Williams 2011

Kathryn Williams Raths

I have always had creative threads of inspirations in my life. I can fall into an oil pastel drawing like the average person falls into a good book. It is a grounding process, allowing me to lose myself in my work, lose track of time and escape the pressures of everyday life. Unfortunately, I have not spent much of my life devoting time to my heart's desire; writing and exploring my creative impulses. I'm a single mom first and I've been a full-time employee in the business world for over the past 20 years. I’ve earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management and an Associate’s Degree in Applied Science. I live in the cornfields of Ypsilanti with my 2 sons, who are thirteen and fourteen, and my boyfriend, a wonderful man whom inspires and supports my dreams. During 2008, I had some life-altering experiences which have given me a new perspective and enabled me to reprioritize my responsibilities. I lost my father and my job, both of which I devoted much love and energy to and truly treasured. In the aftermath of my father's death, I reached deep within my core and wrote my book, What Can I Say When Words Escape Me, being present during times of sorrow. I can only hope these words of encouragement and nature photos touch your heart and up lift and hug your soul as they have for me. I currently write for the, Detroit market as a Healthy Living Reporter, I'm grateful for my life's journey thus far and thankful for a nurturing, fulfilling future that enables me to reach out and help others struggling with hardship.

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