So 2010 is history – a really tough year of history for a lot of people.  The most searched topic of 2010 according to Yahoo! was “BP Oil Spill”.  I think that says so much.

It is easier to close the books on 2010 physically than mentally for some.  I spoke with Susan Osborne-Mott, assistant rector at Trinity Church and Asbury Park resident to hopefully help us all move forward positively in 2011.

TBP:  Many struggled with finances, employment and life moreso in 2010 than in other years.  How does someone put closure on a year and its events?

Susan:   There are events or issues that will always nag at us.  We also have to think of ourselves as greater than those issues.  We also have to find some way to deal with the things that complicate our lives.

The sadness you may be feeling one day will change. 

The recent weather showed us we really have no control.

For me, every day has its closure.  But for people who have experienced loss of a loved one or everything they own, this is so hard to understand.  You have never lost everything though.  You are not your credit card statement.

You may have to change your life.  You may have to step back but you have never lost everything.  My family and friends are vastly more important than what I own or what I think I own.

People should feel that they have value and God values them.  And so do other people.  No one is alone.

TBP:  What about the people who hunker down and close themselves off with their own struggles this time of year?

Susan:  People want to hunker down when they are depressed and that’s the last thing they should do.This time of year has such a high suicide rate because people feel they are alone.  They should be out among people – whether at a church, a synagogue or a coffee shop.  They need to be around people of hope and without judgment.

That is the first step to closure – find people to be with and be with them.  Find your community and go be with those people.  You don’t have to talk if you choose not to, just be with them and find the things you believe in.

TBP:  How can we be with people and support them through their loss or struggles without taking it on as our own problem?

Susan:  We are all gifted with being unique and that uniqueness has its own way of dealing with things.

We all don’t have to believe in the same thing but we can all give each other love and let them be heard.   Hope is found in silence – in letting someone rail on and on.  We all have the right to be angry.  Let your friends have that right and help them find peace in talking.  Your presence and ear is valuable to them.  Everything does not come with an immediate solution.  You can be reassuring and warming by being there but you do not have to sink into their anger or sadness.

Let them be angry for a while and then catch on to the hint of relief and bring that forward through the days and weeks and months of our New Year.