When we begin a new year, there are familiar themes that pop up. We can count on seeing commercials for popular weight loss products and programs. There will definitely be promotions for exercise equipment for your home. Local gyms will run specials to entice people to sign up. This is all in an effort to attract those that feel like the beginning of the year is the time to do all the things that have been neglected. This will be a new year with a new you – or at least that is how it is advertised. This is the time to start over and get the body or the life or the health that we have always dreamed about. There are, of course, challenges to all of this. Apparently you have to show up to the gym and work out regularly, not just sign up. That seems to be a problem. And evidently you have to continue to eat healthy or follow the program longer than a few weeks, even though the cake and pizza is still calling. And you have to follow the new program way longer than was initially planned. Finally, what if you simply don’t want to be new? What if you liked the old, you were comfortable where you were, and you would simply like to go back to those things?
When we grieve, there are often thoughts and desires to just want things to go back to the way they were before. We want to have our loved one back. We want things to return to normal, the way they were before he got sick. We want to go back to the times when she was still here and we could talk and laugh. We just want things back to the way they were and forget this new you talk. And we don’t want anything else new. We want old because old brought us comfort.
The problem is that we can’t go back and we are forced to move forward in some way. We are pushed into this new year, often kicking and screaming. But I want you to consider moving into this new year with a little old and a little new. It is a compromise since you are required to move forward anyway. For the little old, you are given something treasured. You are given something that is special and comes at just the right time. You are given something that doesn’t require anyone else and doesn’t have to be forced. You are given the gift of treasured memories. There are special times and moments in your life that continue to live on in you that no one can take from you. You are given the gift of trips and experiences that you had with your loved one that continue to encourage and make you smile, laugh and sometimes cry. You carry these into the new year because they mean something to you and you don’t have to give them up. Actually, you can do things to help you remember. As you move into the new year, you can create new memories from the old. You can frame a special picture and hang it in a place where you are always reminded. You can take a special arrangement to the cemetery or a special memorial location. You can create a new tradition that helps you to treasure a memory. The possibilities are endless.
The importance is that as you move into the new year, you carry those memories with you. You do not have to create a whole new you. Your life is not moving on without your loved one completely because you are packed with memories and treasures. You move on with these gifts that help you create new memories without forgetting the old. Things change but the old is not forgotten. You move forward but you have a lifetime of joys you bring with you. So as you start this brand new year, find ways to do this with your most treasured gifts. It can be a new year with treasured memories.
May God bless you and keep you…may his face shine upon you and bring you peace…may he bless you with beautiful memories and new opportunities…and may your new year bring joy beginning with the joys that are already a part of you.