GRIEF AND THE HOLIDAYS
I posted this blog article last year about this time and am reposting it for this year’s holidays. In our grief any holiday celebration tends to reopen the wound of our grief. Whether our loss occurred this year or 20 years ago, holiday celebrations bring forth memories. Celebrate the memories, talk about the feelings, share your thoughts with those around you.
Our seasonal holidays are here and for those of us who have had loved ones die this year the holidays will be a particularly challenging time.
Something to think about:
We tend to play the “elephant in the middle of the room” game regarding the mention of our missing loved one. “If we don’t talk about how sad we are feeling we won’t spoil the day for others” is a common belief we carry into group gatherings. The fallacy in this kind of thinking is that everyone is sad and missing this special person and they are all thinking the same about each other. SO bring those feelings out into the open and share them, right at the beginning of the get together: “It just isn’t going to be the same this year without mom”, ‘Who is going to carve the turkey now that dad is not here?”
Another idea is to actually plan on including the person in the day. Since so much of our celebrating involves meals reserve a place at the table, maybe put a picture instead of a plate and silverware in the reserved spot. Talk openly about him or her. Have each person present say what is in their heart as you go around the table before or after eating. The idea is to be open with everyone about the loss you are experiencing, share stories and reminisce, get out the scrapbooks, cry, laugh and support one another.
Your loved one will not be there physically but their spirit will be kept alive and cherished.