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Posts tagged: gifts

From darkness…to light

The nation and others around the world have responded to the anguishing pain following the Newtown, Connecticut shooting. In these dark days of grief and gun conversations and heartache, residents of Newtown have received an outpouring of love – in the form of donated food, toys, toys, toys and money.

The donations are evidence of the season's message to all of us: light (love, compassion), even in the deepest darkness, will heal, inspire and comfort.

How do you think our nation can offer a meaningful response to Newtown?

(S-R photo)

Tell the stories ~ they are gifts

I received an e-mail – written by my dad’s co-worker, friend and, really, the son he never had. My dad died in 2005 and I miss him every day. Every day. The message made my heart sing and is the best gift I could receive this holiday season. So tell the stories, share the memories of those whose earthly journeys have ended. The memories – stories perhaps unknown – will give the gift of presence. The real celebration of this season.

The lovely message follows:

I think about Don often, especially at Xmas time, because he so obviously loved Xmas and because he was just a naturally generous man.  I remember shopping with him- we never actually went on shopping trips, but there was incidental shopping on the way back from lunch.  I recall the year he bought each of his daughters a new dress coat, and him lugging 4 large boxes back to his office from Dayton’s. 

I know you know this, but your dad was a special man.  He was a huge influence in my life and he’s still thought about and missed by his friends as well as his family.  I hope you and your families are well and that you have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.  Please give my best to your sisters. 

To whom can you send a memory gift  during the holidays?

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About this blog

Writer Catherine Johnston of Olympia, Wash., addresses issues facing aging baby boomers and seniors as well as issues of serious illness, death and dying, grief and loss.

Ask a question: Catherine welcomes questions about aging issues and grief. Email her at

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