The hol­i­days have a neg­a­tive as­so­ci­a­tion for a reader

The Middletown Press (Middletown, CT) - - YOUR DAILY BREAK - An­nie Lane

Dear An­nie: When­ever Christ­mas rolls around, I feel sick. I want to en­joy the mer­ri­ment as much as most peo­ple seem to. Un­for­tu­nately, I have neg­a­tive as­so­ci­a­tions with the win­ter hol­i­days. I’m sure I’m not alone in dread­ing Christ­mas. How can I put these as­so­ci­a­tions aside in or­der to have a happy hol­i­day sea­son? Cring­ing at Christ­mas

Dear Cring­ing at Christ­mas: It sounds as though it’s not Christ­mas you’re cring­ing at so much as the un­re­solved emo­tions it brings up for you. It’s also pos­si­ble that you’re ex­pe­ri­enc­ing sea­sonal af­fec­tive dis­or­der, a type of de­pres­sion that af­fects an

es­ti­mated 3 mil­lion Amer­i­cans each year. Ei­ther way, coun­sel­ing could be a hugely ben­e­fi­cial tool for ex­plor­ing, pro­cess­ing and, one hopes, mov­ing past these neg­a­tive as­so­ci­a­tions.

Dear An­nie: This is in re­sponse to “Griev­ing Mom,” the mother who re­ceived a let­ter from a woman who is alive be­cause of an or­gan do­na­tion from “Griev­ing Mom’s” son who trag­i­cally died.

My hus­band died while rid­ing his bi­cy­cle three years ago. We do­nated his or­gans be­cause that’s what he had in­di­cated he wanted. Later, I re­ceived a note from some­one who had got­ten a ten­don from him, thank­ing us for mak­ing this hard de­ci­sion. We were so grate­ful to get that let­ter, know­ing that maybe some­one else could now ride a bike or be able to walk or func­tion nor­mally.

My heart aches for “Griev­ing Mom,” but I know that the re­cip­i­ent of the or­gan was just try­ing to ex­press her grat­i­tude to that mother for giv­ing her some more time. I hope that one day, “Griev­ing Mom” can ac­cept the of­fer­ing of grat­i­tude. Ach­ing Heart

Dear Ach­ing Heart: I am so in­cred­i­bly sorry for your loss. Thank you for shar­ing your ex­pe­ri­ence and of­fer­ing some heart­felt per­spec­tive. Dear An­nie:

This is a re­sponse to “Griev­ing Mom.” I lost my 31-year-old son to a drunken driver last year. My son was rid­ing his bi­cy­cle cross-coun­try. With no hes­i­ta­tion, our fam­ily do­nated every part of his beau­ti­ful body so that oth­ers could have bet­ter lives. Greg would have wanted that. My point of this let­ter is to high­light how we all have dif­fer­ent re­sponses to tragic losses. Whereas “Griev­ing Mom” wants no con­tact with the re­cip­i­ent of her son’s heart and is ap­palled that the re­ceiver reached out to her, I would em­brace the chance to hug the in­di­vid­ual who has my son’s heart beat­ing in his or her body. What a gift for the both of us! Please re­mind your read­ers to take the time to be­come or­gan donors so that oth­ers might have the chance for a bet­ter life and your loved one, in a beau­ti­ful way, could live on. Barry

Dear Barry: I am so sorry for the loss of your son. It sounds as if he was a gen­er­ous and kind per­son. Thank you for your per­spec­tive. A sin­gle or­gan donor may save the lives of up to eight peo­ple and im­prove the lives of up to 50, ac­cord­ing to the Uni­ver­sity of Pitts­burgh Med­i­cal Cen­ter.

Send your ques­tions for An­nie Lane to dear­an­[email protected]­ To find out more about An­nie Lane and read fea­tures by other Cre­ators Syn­di­cate colum­nists and car­toon­ists, visit the Cre­ators Syn­di­cate web­site at www.cre­

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