Thinking of Others Who May be Stressed

This is just that time of the year when we may be spending time with friends and family. But we should also give a thought to those who may be separated from their loved ones or who may have maybe lost someone close during the past year.

For those, this may be a painful reminder of the moments that were shared. When we lose someone, we do our best to get on with our lives and, in essence, we usually do. But then, there are times such as Christmas, that are poignant reminders of the gap that person has left in our lives. The times when you used to pick up the phone just to say ‘hello’. The friend that you would call as you left a business meeting that had gone well and you want to share that with them, or the mother or father who was always there for you, during both the good and the bad times.

When we lose someone dear to us, those times are often difficult to get through. Although our friends may be there immediately afterwards, they soon go back into their own lives once again. And we are eventually left alone with our memories.

Anniversaries
And, of course, when the first birthday comes, the wedding anniversary, the next Ramadan, Diwali or Christmas, the memories become more vivid as they come flooding back. Tears may not be as uncontrollable as in the early days, but nevertheless, they may still be there – yet more manageable. This being a natural part of the bereavement process.

However, if you can find someone with whom you can just talk to and share those moments, then you are fortunate but sometimes you need to go and seek them for yourself. Your friends and relatives cannot read your thoughts, so you need to tell them how you are feeling. We know that life goes on but there are also times when we need to pause and reflect on that which we have been fortunate to have achieved and those we have loved, and still love. And so this time of the year is a time for thinking not only of ourselves but also of others. Those who are, for whatever reason, maybe not included in our family celebration. It could be a next door neighbour who lives alone who you could invite in for a cup of coffee and a chat. The shopkeeper who lost his wife at the beginning of the year and wants to work over festive seasons to take his mind off of his loss – for him, a smile and a kind word could make all the difference to his day. The child who has experienced the trauma of parents divorcing during the year – this season will be different and sad for them as they come to terms with their family breakdown, and they may well need your help though these difficult times. For those children, their world will have broken and they cannot understand why that should have happened to them, or if they were responsible.

These are the children who need help and support. People need people. We all want to feel needed and loved. This time of the year should be one of inclusion and community and if you don’t belong to a community, then take it upon yourself to find out where you can give of your time where your support will be valued and where you can find new friends.

We have to take it upon ourselves to be proactive and even though we may not feel like it, that first step is the one that will open doors and lead to many others along the way.

Helping Each Other
We can all help each other if we want to and to empathise with others outside our own family is the one way to ensure that this festive season will be one of inclusion, caring and giving.
In my mind, that is what this time of year should be all about so that you, and everyone around you, can look forward to the next one with a positive attitude and mindset to go forward and make both your world and their world a happier and better place.

KEY POINTS
This season is also a time for reflection
People need people
Be an active part of the community

Reprinted with the kind permission of Gulf News.

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