The holiday times roll in, and suddenly it's so easy for me to overextend
myself. Parties with co-workers, lunches with friends, get-togethers with
relatives -- it all seems like so much fun in the beginning. Then I look at the calendar in bewilderment, noting that I don't have an evening to myself for two
solid weeks! 

It happens to all of us, but for suicide-loss survivors, there may
be a tendency to overload to avoid the pain of spending the holidays without a
loved one. 

Know that you can always cancel. You don't have to be Superwoman or
Superman during this most tender of times. I have learned I can say "yes." I can
also say "no." I can even say "maybe," "I changed my mind," or "can I get back
to you?" 

Setting boundaries and limits helps me enjoy the holidays!

Catherine Greenleaf

Catherine Greenleaf is a non-denominational spiritual director and longtime member of the Association for Death Education and Counseling. She is a three-time survivor of suicide loss. Greenleaf travels all over the United States to speak with suicide loss survivors about how to heal from suicide loss. She is the author of the book, "Healing The Hurt Spirit: Daily Affirmations For People Who Have Lost a Loved One to Suicide." She has also produced a spoken word/healing music CD: "Today, I Am Healing: Affirmations for Rebuilding Self-Esteem After a Suicide Loss." Greenleaf has documented 12 stages of healing involved in the suicide grief process. She believes that becoming involved with one's community is essential to healing from suicide loss. Greenleaf most recently has been researching the prevalence of suicide within alcoholic homes.

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