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If you are like most bereaved people, thinking about the future without your loved one is not pleasant. In thinking about the next year, some people shake their head saying, “I don’t want to go there. It’s too difficult to even imagine.” Perhaps this is an article you’d rather not read. I’m writing it because—and I think you’ll agree—making plans when dealing with a difficult issue is usually better than just letting it happen. As you can see with the lists below, I’ve put together holidays in one column with a number of suggestions in the other. The suggestions are from bereaved parents, siblings, grandparents, spouses and those who’ve lost parents in response to my question, “What did you do on special days to acknowledge your love one?” If you’d like, make a copy of this article, look over the suggestions, and place a letter or more in the column of holidays on the left to indicate what you might do on that day. If the list seems overwhelming, just put it aside and perhaps return to it later.

After you finish, consider sharing your results with family members and ask what he or she would like to do. Whatever you select from this list, choose those activities you feel may give you some comfort.

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