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Some of us are now enjoying vacations in the summer sun - we have lived in the past and sadness a very long time and have come to realize that life does go on. We understand that our child would want nothing other than our continued happiness and appreciation of every day.

Thinking of vacations early after the death of our child is, we believe, almost blasphemous. How can we possibly even think about seeking fun in the sun? We feel we are destined forever to stay at home, mired in the murk of our grief and despondency.

Perhaps early on in your grief, forgetting vacations may not be such a bad idea. There is a lot involved in vacation - from packing to the tiniest details. Our minds truly may not be capable of handling any or all of the plans. We are distracted and driving in unfamiliar towns may be unsafe. It may be better and safer to travel in our own neighboorhoods.

Try going to a local park. Bring a comfy lounge chair, sunglasses, a book or music, something cool to drink. Go alone - try to get someone to watch your other children if necessary. Kick off your shoes and let the grass wiggle up between your toes. Let yourself relax and let your mind wander.

If you must vacation, it does not mean that we love our children any less. We will not betray our love for them by enjoying a few days away from home. Expect to be sad occasionally - it goes with us, wherever we travel but so does our love.

You need not feel guilty that you are having fun when your child is not with you. Try to welcome the distractions of being away from home. Try to see everything from your child's eye - with excitement and anticipation. Try to have the fun they would have.

Remember, your child lives in glory. Let him or her share their glory with you in the form of peaceful moments, happy memories and delightful days in the summer sun.