Words from COPE President and Founder Lilly Julien
On Thanksgiving, I gave thanks for COPE, all of our facilitators, directors, and volunteers who have made support possible for so many families.
You were all in my thoughts as I felt the absence of my own love ones.
As I reflected, I remembered my first Thanksgivings many years ago without my daughter and husband. I spent most of the day crying in the car. This Thanksgiving I looked around the table and felt immense love and gratitude for my family and those who are here with me.
Every year is different because Holidays have forever changed! There is so much missing and we are missing the ones we love.
It is a time when many of us spiral and we feel especially vulnerable. Our love is expressed in grief and our Love process is part of the grief process, as we find new ways to connect and create new relationships with our love ones.
Children are more resilient. They want to be happy. It’s okay to laugh and its okay to cry! There’s connection in crying, not disconnection, if you’re crying with people you feel safe with.
Giving yourself permission to be happy , even if it’s for the briefest of moments allows it to grow.
The death is the biggest part of your life right now but it’s only a small part of the love and life you shared. It’s important on birthdays, passing dates, and holidays to talk about your love ones with those closest to you. That love is a part of you. It is not past. It’s present. It’s always with you. These are the stories you get to share. It’s the other side of grief. You grieve hard because of how much you continue to love. And that love is an eternal connection.
Wishing each of you peace, love, comfort and connection through the holidays with the energy of your love ones surrounding you.
COPE President and Founder
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