Illustration by Jaymee L. Amores
Everyone deserves to be happy
SECURITY BLANKET - Dr. Nina Halili-Jao (The Philippine Star) - December 22, 2019 - 12:00am

Even if you are still grieving the death of a loved one or if your loved one is working overseas, you still deserve to be happy during the holidays.

Despite the crisis you are going through, life must still go on for you. Part of coping is for you to accept the life event leading to that loss so you can gradually move on. Moving on includes that you celebrate the holidays with your family and co-workers and you need not feel guilty if you continue with holiday traditions.

If your Christmas tradition is wearing a new outfit for Mass, then go ahead and do so. Go ahead and display your Christmas lanterns. Go ahead and decorate your Christmas tree. Doing so does not mean you are forgetting your departed loved one. To remove your guilt, you can make a Christmas stocking or Christmas ball in memory of your loved one. You can also include his or her favorite dishes in your holiday menu. The effort you exert will add to your self-esteem and make you more resilient in coping with your loss. Lighting a candle on Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve in memory of your loved one is another way of including your loved one in your Christmas traditions.

If you plan to downplay your holiday celebrations, you may also choose to donate to your loved one’s favorite charity. You can even also support a scholar in his or her memory in the school where he or she graduated from. You may also donate your loved one’s slightly used clothes to an NGO that houses the homeless or elderly persons or that extends aid to disaster victims.

What helped me a lot in coping with the loss of my mom, Remedios Warren-Halili, on Aug. 14, 2018, apart from offering Mass for her, was the daily reminder of her smiling in a group photo that has been printed in our coffee mugs.

It is also not easy for those whose loved ones are working overseas and cannot go home for the holidays. But thanks to technology, the distance between you and your loved ones can already be bridged through social media, video calls, messaging apps, etc. You can also e-mail photos and videos of your holiday family gatherings to your loved ones to keep them updated.

If you have time, you can have a nice family photo printed on T-shirts, which you can send by courier or mail abroad before the holidays.

Sending personalized holiday cards through mail is also a nice touch. But you also have an option to take a photo of the personalized Christmas card and send it via any social media application that you both use.

Merry Christmas and a blessed New Year to all! *

(For questions on love, looks and relationships, you may e-mail me at

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