Holidays and Healing: “Unable are the Loved to die…”

“Unable are the Loved to die, for Love is Immortality…” ~~ Emily Dickinson

When you write a Christmas book about loss and grief and recovery…and love, you’re walking a tricky path full of obsticals and blind paths and possible pitfalls you can’t see coming.

It’s kind of like navigating the holidays while you’re missing loved ones or dealing with the emptiness that’s left behind when someone who should still be here is gone from your life for good. Except that the holidays are all about hope and healing and believing in a better tomorrow, regardless of what’s troubling you today, so I guess that’s why I tackled such deep and personal subject matter and characters in my first ever holiday story.

hope etching bird

It’s too easy to focus on only the loss of someone.

It’s too easy to ignore it entirely.

What’s harder is remembering and loving and wanting them here still, once they’re gone, and believing that what’s best about them is still with us.

It can be nearly impossible this time of year to feel hopeful that a lost love’s future in our lives is still possible. But it is. And if we give ourselves a chance to believe that, what a bright and ever-expanding future that can become.


The loved ones we’ve lost, no matter how painful their passing, are immortal. They’re forever  part of who they’re helping us to become.

We honor them by remembering and hoping during the holidays and beyond, even when some memories may at first be too painful to process. If we keep lost loved ones with us, if we keep them close, they will continue to change us into who we were destined to become the moment they entered our lives.

We honor ourselves by seeing abundance and the chance to do better and more and to do more for others, the same as lost loves have done for us.

Honor and love and remember this holiday season, the same as my characters do in my emotional and sometimes sad but deeply hopeful stories.

Embrace the immortality of healing, I believe Emily Dickinson is saying in this quote and in all the snippets of poetry I borrowed for Christmas on Mimosa Lane.

A timeless message, just in time for this holiday.

Related Emily Dickinson Articles:

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4 Responses to “Holidays and Healing: “Unable are the Loved to die…””

  1. Skye says:

    I need to remember this when I think about my mom (and my dad and my little brother) over the holidays. I’m spending it with good friends again, friends who are opening up their families to me now that mine is all gone. I need to keep remembering my family members who are gone and try to do so without so much sadness and grief, but with this happiness that you are writing about. It’s a good thing to think of.

    • Skye, your experience is so similar to many people I know, and my own. I lost my father very suddenly around Thanksgiving 20+ years ago, and my view of this time of the year was forever changed by the experience. I see others struggling through the happiness blazing around them and understand. I feel what they’re going through.

      Writing COML and stories like it are a way for me to share both sides of the happiness I want all of us to experience (over the holidays and every day). It’s not an easy thing, but it’s worth fighting for. And the start is accepting that we celebrate and live and love and mourn in our own unique ways. Then and only then can we move forward finding the path that will help us heal and feel free again of the difficult moments in our past that are still with us.

      Don’t tell yourself the sadness and grief are wrong. But do try to remember that they’re not all that’s left of your loved ones. You won’t ever have them back the way you knew them, but they are still with you, inside you, loving you the way they want you to keep loving yourself this time of year.

  2. Sandra M says:


    I lost my brother two years ago and it seems the holidays are the hardest to get through without hearing his laughter any longer. Thank you for the post that reminds us our loved ones are always with us.

  3. The love is what remains. It’s what’s best to cling to, while we deal with the rest. The love is ours every day that we reach for it, even if we’ve lost those we love most along the way.

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