For some people, the holidays symbolize a time of nostalgic memories, losses, and remembrance. These feelings of loss may bring grief to our souls that at times cannot be expressed or shared with others, especially when one is supposed to be cheerful and happy. If you have recently experienced the loss of a loved one, the holidays may bring a sensation of a void as we miss the person who, physically, is no longer with us.

Even though we may not feel like celebrating, we can still remember our loved one in a meaningful manner and a beautiful way to do this is creating rituals. We can create rituals to keep their memories alive in our hearts. These rituals can be personal, with the family, or both. The advantage of creating a family ritual is that you can do it at the time you get together for dinner and want to honor your loved one.

These are examples of some rituals you can do:

* Lighting a candle in remembrance as you gather with your family

* Sharing special memories

* Placing a chest in the living room where your family and friends can place a note honoring the memory of your loved one

Always remember that, although the holidays may be challenging times, it is also an opportunity to share time with special people in your life. Pay attention to your needs and communicate with others. Find ways to nourish your spiritual dimension and know that your loved will always live in your heart.

Ligia M. Houben 2010

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Ligia Houben

Ligia Houben is a speaker and educator in the area of life transitions. She works with the bereaved, the person who needs to face a new stage in life, children of aging parents, or people searching for more meaning in their lives. She consults with individuals and corporations on life transitions and spirituality with the purpose of providing tools to transform losses and challenges. Ligia obtained her B.A. from the University of Miami in Psychology and Religious Studies and a Masters Degree in Religious Studies and Gerontology from Florida International University. She also has a graduate certificate in Loss and Healing from St. Thomas University, a certificate in Thanatology and is a Fellow of the American Academy of Grief Counseling. Besides being a speaker, she is an author, coach, counselor and consultant. She is an adjunct professor of Kaplan University, Florida International University and Miami Dade College where she teaches courses on Ethics, Religion and Death and Dying. More... Ligia is the author of the self-help book, "Transform your Loss: An Anthology of Strength and Hope." This book contains "The Eleven Principles of Transformation™" which is a system that involves the emotional, spiritual, and cognitive aspects of the person as they face a transition or loss. Ligia created this system of transformation to help people transform their losses and change their lives. Reach her through her website,

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