Grief, Gratitude, and the Holiday Blues
Thanksgiving, Christmas, Chanukah, Easter and Passover. Holidays are associated with laughter and fun, celebration as well as reflection, times to spend with family and dear friends. For many of us they’re also associated with sorrow, grief, loneliness and stress. Add the death of a dear friend or family member to the mix and holidays can be harrowing.
Grief is a response to the love that existed and still exists between us and those who have gone on before us. Grief and love go hand in hand. Why pretend we’re not sad? Why pretend we don’t miss them?
When someone special dies our world might seem to crumble, and the demands of the holiday can heighten our sorrow. Celebrating when a loved one has died can feel like betrayal; as if enjoying life without them means we’ve forgotten them. But we haven’t. We can mix our grief with gratitude for those who’ve been in our lives and be reminded that life continues to offer goodness and blessings.
What can we do? How can we celebrate the holidays when we’re missing our loved one?
Consider these ideas. Then pick some things to do that seem authentic to you and your family –
Laugh when it’s time to laugh. Cry when tears are needed
Talk about them and the times you shared.
Make their favorite food. Their favorite food is sometimes banished from the holiday meal. Instead, eat it and enjoy it! Or laugh over the fact that it’s the one food you never did like very much.
Light a candle, say their name or say a prayer for them
Try continuing their favorite holiday activity
Dedicate a decoration on the Christmas tree in their honor
Decorate their grave site
If you scattered them to the winds, or a river […]