Living Well Magazine
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Guest Blog, Holidays and Grief by Joyce Sorensen

IMG_3864_faceshotI’m not sure why, but it has been difficult for me to write about my experience with the holidays since Dick died. Perhaps I have fallen into the trap of believing I should have done ‘better’ by now. My best effort follows this section.

Some will have surged past me in processing the loss of a person they loved. Still others will have lagged behind me. Despite what we may have been told, we each grieve in our own way and in our own time-frame.

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2015 marks my third holiday season alone. I would like to tell you that I have recovered, moved on, and don’t miss Dick much. The truth? I have recovered some, I have moved on some, and I still miss him a lot, especially during holidays, anniversaries, and birthdays.

Unable to focus at times lately, I have reverted to making mistakes and losing things. I have not decorated—too busy. Maybe I ‘should’ have done so. Perhaps I still will.

More truth? I’m in no great hurry to recover, move on, and miss Dick less. Sometimes I worry I will forget the nuances of him. The process of writing Together Through Korea and Alzheimer’s has kept me focused on him for eighteen months. A friend asked, “Are you obsessed with him?” I responded, “Probably. That’s okay with me, for now.”

My first holiday season alone in 2013 was blessed by an invitation to visit family in Washington. Our grandson and his wife urged me to participate in family and friend celebrations that week only to the extent I chose. What a relief! I would not feel tempted to fake enthusiasm when sadness threatened to drown my face in tears.

In my room, I comforted myself with items I had stowed in my purse: Dick’s wedding ring and a few special notes he had written to me over the years. Studying photos of him consoled me even as I cried.

During my second holiday season alone in 2014, with no family present, I enjoyed the major holiday dinner with friends and then rushed home to ‘spend the day with Dick’ surrounded by reminders of him. I had put up lights outdoors, but had done little decorating inside. I played Handel’s MESSIAH for the first time and remembered listening during our holidays together. I scaled a hurdle by choosing to hear another piece of our favorite music on that difficult day.

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Please feel free to join me in sharing your reactions to the death of someone you loved. I will never quote you or give out your address without your permission.

It would have helped me enormously if I had found such a place when I needed it most.


PictureWhen I found myself alone after Dick’s death, I had no idea who I was as an individual. And I did not know what I would do with the rest of my life. I still don’t have all the answers.

After unearthing Dick’s letters to me from sixty years earlier, I discovered a treasure trove of poetic expressions of love and fascinating stories about his daily life in Korea. I started writing excerpts from the letters for the family. Before I fully understood my intention, a book had begun.

In the past, my writing had been mostly confined to medical charts and to consultation reports. Of necessity, I wrote in brief, concise terminology. No way was I ready to write a book. Thanks to my critique groups, I learned I could tell our story in honor of Dick’s life.

 For more information about Joyce, to subscribe to her blog, or her book, please visit her website at



This entry was posted in: Living Well Magazine


Carolan Dickinson is a psychic medium, angel communicator, teacher, and author of her debut women’s fiction novel, Three Full Moons (scheduled for release in November 2020). She is also a contributing author of the bestsellers The Last Breath, Kindness Crusader, 52 Weeks of Gratitude Journal, 111-Morning Meditations-Start Your Day with Intention, and Walking with the Archangels. Her first love is doing private readings and helping people discover their gifts and talents. She teaches intuitive and personal development classes, both in-person and online. In her free time, you will find her in a yoga class, reading, or walking and talking with the archangels. To work with Carolan or follow her weekly archangel blog, please visit You can find her on Facebook at or on Instagram @carolandickinson

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