If you’re grieving the bodily loss of a loved one, I know how hard the holidays can be.
Holidays are the time we slow down and take a trip down memory lane.
In no time, we fall into a pit of sadness remembering those we have “lost.”
Today, I want to share my simple recipe for joy this Christmas.
Celebrate your holiday meals with those in spirit!
Stay with me…
In my latest no. 1 international bestseller, Love Never Dies, I share my own amazing journey with my deceased husband, world-renowned former Jesuit priest Emile Jean Pin.
When Jean first left his body, I was beyond beside myself with grief.
I vividly recall my first Christmas, just a couple of months after he left his body.
I sat down to my solitary meal. But, I was choking on grief and couldn’t get a bite of food past the lump in my throat.
Soon, Jean’s astonishing manifestations began to pull me from the pit…
As he told me, “Death is an illusion. There is a very thin veil between the realm where you are and the realm where I am.”
He added, “The veil is thinner than you can ever imagine. I’m standing
When we shed the turtle shell of our bodies, we continue to live on in spirit form.
This means that your relationships aren’t meant to end with bodily death.
From this point on, I began celebrating the holiday with him. Each year, we cook our favorite holiday meal together, and we dine together.
So, this holiday, rather than grieving over what you have lost, I want you to cook with your loved ones in spirit and share your holiday meals with them too!
Let me share the story of Dawn whose best-friend suddenly left her body during the holidays.
Dawn was driving behind her friend, Elsie, whose car was having trouble.
Elsie stopped to put air in her tire and Dawn headed home.
Not long afterward, Dawn received a frantic call from Bette, who had stayed with Elsie.
“You have to hurry back,” Bette said. “Something is terribly wrong with Elsie. She collapsed on the ground and is having a seizure.”
As Dawn raced back to the store, Bette, who’s a nurse, performed CPR on Elsie.
But by the time Dawn arrived at the scene, Elsie was no longer in her body.
Dawn wept as she described seeing her friend on the pavement, her eyes rolled back in her head, and her clothing soiled with urine.
Ever since the tragedy, Dawn and Bette had been berating themselves for failing to save Elsie.
Suddenly, Elsie came through like gangbusters.
Clearly, she was hell-bent (or should I say heaven sent?) on talking with my patient and setting her straight.
Elsie described in nontechnical terms what had happened to her. She showed me the image of the tire on her car and said that what happened to her brain is exactly what happened to the inner tube of her tire--it bulged and blew.
Dawn confirmed that Elsie’s symptoms were consistent with a brain aneurism, which was exactly what her friend was describing.
Elsie went on to say that Dawn shouldn’t be sad. I heard her use the expression “chin up.” She clearly wanted Dawn to snap out of her reverie of agony and guilt.
“She was always telling me to keep my chin up. Those are her words!” Dawn exclaimed.
Next, Elsie showed us that she was kicking up her heels, first to the left and then to the right.
Dawn explained that this image was her way of communicating the fact she was finally free to move and dance about. In Elsie’s earthly body, she had suffered many broken bones and was essentially crippled.
At this point, Elsie showed me the image of a four-leaf clover, so I asked Dawn if Elsie was Irish.
“No,” she said. “Elsie was Jewish and Portuguese!”
I thought, I must be losing it! Where did I get the Irish connection from?
But just then Dawn added that Elsie often wore an Irish four-leaf clover that Dawn had given her as a gift. It was a prized possession, so Elsie offered the image to confirm her presence and reassure Dawn. By this point, I was crying along with the rest of the group.
My tears were soon stopped by the next image—which was of big boobs. For the life of me, I could not figure out why this picture was being implanted in my mind.
I sheepishly asked, “Did Elsie have big breasts?”
Despite her mix of raw emotions, Dawn emitted a sharp laugh.
“She sure did! They were enormous!”
I realized that Elsie was showing this distinguishing feature in order to further prove her presence and to give the message that she was (and still is) a maternal figure to Dawn—the mother that she never had.
When I said this, Dawn confirmed, “That’s the truth!”
The next thing Elsie said took my breath away.
She said, “You better save a place for me at Thanksgiving.”
Then she planted the oddest image in my mind: a turkey drumstick.
I asked, “Is she obsessed with drumsticks? I hear her insisting that you save her the drumstick.”
We all gasped when Dawn confirmed that they went to the dinner every week, and Elsie always ordered a drumstick!
By offering such explicit details, Elsie wanted to reassure Dawn that she is right here, just in a different form in much the same way that water converts to ice or steam.
A couple of days later, I received an e-mail from Dawn thanking me profusely for the experience we shared in group.
“I have finally achieved peace with what happened to Elsie,” she wrote. “I feel as though a great weight has been taken off of my shoulders and I am feeling like myself again.”
And, Dawn did set a place for Elsie at her holiday table.
So, my message to you is simple.
This Christmas, try a new recipe.
The recipe is simple:
Reconnect rather than reminisce!
Bring your loved ones in spirit into the kitchen and prepare your favorite dishes together.
Then, set a place (literally and figuratively) for them at your holiday table.
And, talk to them. Say hello, reconnect and dialogue with them.
As you will soon see, reconnecting is the secret ingredient for transforming your grief to joy this holiday season and beyond.
PS: To find out more about how Love Never Dies can help you to reconnect and dialogue with those in spirit, click here:
PPS: Love Never Dies is now in audio format (read by me!). For many people who are newly bereaved and the elderly, reading a book is difficult. Hearing a book is easier. So make sure to share the audio with those you love.
PPPS: Love Never Dies is also now in 34 languages. So make sure to let grieving friends and family members who don’t speak English know about this!