DEAR HARRIETTE: My father died a few years ago on Christmas Day. We had just enjoyed a lovely family breakfast, and he passed away in his easy chair. I loved my father so much, and I miss him every day. It is hard for me to enjoy the holidays as much these days because they always remind me of my loss. How can I cultivate a better attitude? My dad lived to be 90 years old. He had a great life, but my grief remains. -- Grief During Christmas, Larchmont, New York
DEAR GRIEF DURING CHRISTMAS: Grief can take many years to pass through survivors. It is natural for you to remember your father at Christmas and to have mixed feelings about the season. One way to boost your spirits could be to do something my mother taught me: Count your blessings. In this case, you can focus your recollection of blessings on your relationship with your father and on his full life. Recount out loud and write down the type of man he was, what he meant to you, what dreams he fulfilled, how he found joy, all of the good things you can remember, etc. This will sweeten your memories of him and help to ease the pain. Feel free to talk about your father with loved ones. Yes, he is physically gone, but you should ensure that his memory lives on in your family.
(Harriette Cole is a lifestylist and founder of DREAMLEAPERS, an initiative to help people access and activate their dreams. You can send questions to email@example.com or c/o Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.)