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“I See You”

     Love. Laughter. Happiness. Joy. These are the normal tropes of the holiday season, and we excitedly look forward to this time that comes around but once a year. We string lights around our homes to bring light (literally) to our neighborhoods. We host holiday parties with friends and families gathering together around special treats made only during the holidays. We laugh a bit harder, sing songs from the past, and participate in ugly sweater competitions.

     And all the while we are celebrating and sharing, we sometimes lose the awareness that the holidays don’t always bring joy. For some of us, the holidays highlight loss. The loss of a parent, a friend, a spouse. The loss of a home or of an income. The holidays bring reminders of a past that can no longer exist and a future that is no longer possible. It can accentuate depression and heighten anxieties. 

     So while the holidays are a joyous occasion and should remain as such, acknowledging our neighbors, friends, or family members who will find these celebrations more difficult this year is the most precious gift you can give this season. The gesture does not need to be grand: an extra long hug, a holiday card, or a phone call is all that may be needed. Quite simply, it is to say, “I see you.”

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