Grief at the holidays can be a killer.
I should know: Four of my loved ones made their transition during this holiday period. In fact, we buried my mother on a Christmas Eve. BFF died a few days after Christmas.My grandfather died during the Thanksgiving holiday. So did Riley.
So here are a few ways to manage grief at the holidays:
There’s no avoiding it
The big thing is that you simply can’t avoid the grief. So don’t even try.
Your loved one was a valued part of your life then and still is. So: invite them to the holiday table. Raise a glass to them. Be grateful for the love you shared. What a blessing!
And especially be grateful that they are still ever-present in your life. They’re not gone at all. They’re just around the corner. The next plane. Right here, even though we can’t see them. We carry them with us all the time and that IS a blessing.
I’m thinking of a mother I know whose baby passed in the first few months. Her daughter is part of her life in a significant way and is now also part of the lives of her two other children. They recognize grief is part of life and mark each anniversary together as a family. It’s loving and it’s healthy for all.
It can be painful.
But, you say: “The grief.”
Grief is just love that thinks it has no place to go. But since our loved ones are really not dead to us–they live in our hearts–it DOES have a place to go. Your heart.
Grief is a reminder of the love we shared and still share, because love never dies.
As for the tears? Oh, I have them, too. Let them flow and wash away sadness as you celebrate the beautiful spirit that is still in your life and the joy that you loved one another.
Since they aren’t really gone…
Invite them to your happy holiday. And bask in that ongoing love you share.
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