When you are dealing with grief from the death of a loved one, even years after they are gone, the holidays can be an especially difficult time. For the last 8 years or so, my family and I have gone through the motions and celebrated Christmas because that’s what everyone else around us was doing. Underneath the surface, though, there was a large part of me that wanted to just get through the holiday season as quickly as possible. I didn’t want to celebrate. I couldn’t find the joy to be happy. I couldn’t really smile.
This year is different. I am actually looking forward to Christmas. What has changed this year – is my choice to focus on life. It’s my choice now to create new memories.
December is that time of year where we get together with family and friends to celebrate and connect. It can be that time of year where our loss can hit us hard. Loss of a loved one. Loss of a job. Loss of a dream and other complicated emotions.
When you are grieving, there comes a time, you will need to decide to smile again. It will not be easy. It doesn’t mean that you will not miss your loved one forever. I have come to accept that I can feel two opposing emotions at the same time. This is what grief has taught me. And that it is OK to be happy and to miss them.
So this Christmas, I am choosing to honour my mother – and live her legacy of “not letting anyone steal my joy.” This Christmas, I will not let grief steal my joy. I will miss her. I will grief that she is not here to hold to be her diva self – and I will also celebrate that my niece is here in this world. I will create new memories.
Here are 10 tips that can help you manage your grief during the Holiday Season;
1. Acknowledge that the holidays will be different and they will be tough.
2. Create Time For Yourself:
3. Go to a Yoga Class
4. Seek Support from a Friend or Family Member
5. Scheduled your “Cry” Time
6. Get More Rest
7. Go away from it all
8. Laugh – yes laugh.
9. Volunteer and help your community
10. Seek a Higher Power
Grief is a heavy load we carry and it is not something I will get over. I will get through it and I have learned to carry it differently.