Remembering Your Departed Loved Ones During The Holidays
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Remembering Your Departed Loved Ones During The HolidaysJames Van Praagh Has 3 Tips for Inviting Spirit to the Party
When you gather with friends and family this holiday season, make it a point to consciously extend your circle to include loved ones who have passed over. The dead are never far away, especially during this season where rituals, memories and traditions play such a special role. You might feel that bringing up someone you are missing will put a damper on holiday festivities, but in fact, including Spirit in your celebration in a loving and joyous way will enrich the experience for everyone involved.
Sometimes, Spirit needs no invitation!
Spirit people don’t always wait to be invited. I’ve heard countless examples of “coincidences” that I know are anything but! They are Spirit’s way of saying “Hey, I’m here and I love you!” A misplaced item that suddenly re-appears, a favorite song on the radio, or a familiar scent can all be signs that Spirit is near. A friend recently shared a story of her three-year-old daughter whose maternal grandmother had passed away when she was an infant. Their tradition had always been to get together with the extended family to celebrate Thanksgiving at a local restaurant.
During their celebration last year, the little girl went from person to person asking for their parsley garnish so she could “freshen her breath.” Her family was struck by how her mannerisms and phrasing exactly matched those of her deceased grandmother, who had the odd habit of collecting everyone’s parsley to nibble on after a meal. The child’s actions got everyone sharing stories and memories about Grandma, feeling her loving presence just as if she was sitting down to dinner with them.
Your loved ones on the other side remember you.
Memories of special times are precious, and they can last through many lifetimes. Whenever I work with the Spirit people I feel they are reaching through and touching my mind with their memories, and indeed they are! Unlike the brain, your mind is part of your soul, which goes with you when you leave your human body and return home to the Spirit world. Within your mind you retain all the memories that were created here on earth, including times shared with family during the holidays. Memories can only be made on earth but, like a treasured photo album, are reviewed again and again in heaven. When spirits come through at this time of year, they fill my mind with visions of holiday traditions and rituals – their intention is to bring these memories to life for those left behind – if there’s no medium present, they will find another way.
Bringing Spirit Closer
When you are enjoying an almost perfect holiday event this season and think to yourself “I wish Dad was here to enjoy this” comfort yourself with the knowledge that he is closer than you think! Here are some ways to feel the presence of the person you are missing even more strongly:
• Acknowledge those who have passed in a special way – display a favorite holiday photo of that person, make their favorite recipe, or use a serving piece that belonged to them during the meal. You can even set them a place at the table– any small gesture that brings them closer will be appreciated!
• Encourage family members to share a memory. Pick a time where everyone can share a memory or story about the person who has passed. Let the dead know that they are loved and remembered.
• Be open to signs. Be open to subtle scents, sounds, and thoughts that signal the presence of your loved ones – and respond to them, “hi mom!” so Spirit knows you are aware of them.
The holiday season, from Halloween to New Years Day, is the time when the veil between the physical and the Spirit world is thinnest. I encourage you to carve out some time from the bustle of the holidays to take a quiet moment to feel your loved ones presence. Meditate, sit by the fire, or take a little drive to look at the holiday lights and open up your soul to let the people who shaped your life in. And when you celebrate with family, include everyone – regardless of what realm they inhabit!
To learn more, see my latest book, Adventures of the Soul.