Memorial Day marks the beginning of summer for a lot of people, and they’re excited to get a 3-day weekend to celebrate. That’s fun, and I used to have a boat so I know. But today means more to the millions who want to honor, not only soldiers lost, but someone dear in their own lives. Moms and dads, kids, mates, friends, grandparents, and beloved pets. Adjustment to major loss is hard, but this is for sure: There are no rules to grief. There is no one way to react, no one way to behave. It’s a personal journey that well meaning friends and family can’t dictate nor judge. Only you know. Profound sadness mellows in time, but the memory of “then” can sometimes loom like it was yesterday.

Humor is important in grief recovery so it has its own chapter in my book, Emerging from the Heartache of Loss. If remembering a loved one is still painful, here’s something to try. Decide ahead of time to focus for a day–or even an hour–on the good times you had together and their wonderfulness instead of how much you miss them. Smiles can lead to chuckles which might lead to laughing out loud, and laughing through tears eventually cancels them out.

Here’s something else to try: Set a time limit ahead of time, “I will spend 30 minutes remembering, wallowing, or weeping.” Five minutes if the pain is too great. Deciding ahead of time makes it easier to switch emotional gears when time is up. It’s still a mystery to me, but they say that your brain believes what you tell it! “Listen here, brain!”

Have a peaceful day..