The holiday season can be hard. Big shocker, right? Still, it’s true nonetheless. They are hard. Not just because of the shortened shopping season or all the other normal stressors that the holidays typically bring. They can be hard for reasons NOT so “typical.” Ones that you don’t normally associate with holidays… Grieving.
This December is the first Christmas without my Grandmother and the 1 year anniversary of my Fiancé’s father’s death. The lack of their presence lingers heavily over our holiday season (Yes, even mediums grieve)! My fiance and I LOVE Christmas. We are your stereotypical “Mr. and Mrs. Holly Jolly,” but this year we are contending with a different type of “Holiday Spirit” and it makes me think about everyone else who is grieving this holiday season too and what advice I have to offer. I wish I didn’t have the firsthand experience to draw upon but I do. Might as well put it to some good use and share some thoughts and observations. Some Christmas Goodies, if you will…
You May Relate to Bah-Humbug on a Whole New Level.
If you’re grieving this holiday season it’s unrealistic to believe that you’re going to be like Will Farrel as Buddy in the movie Elf. Instead, you may find yourself feeling more like Ebineiser Scrooge and that, Tiny Tim, is okay. Just don’t let yourself turn into Scrooge’s pre-spiritual intervention (Angry, alone, and an all-around asshole).
You Maybe Secretly Happy Some Traditions Also Died With This Person.
Listen, I love my Grandma. But, for years I choked down oyster stew because it was “tradition”. I (and the rest of my family) happily buried that recipe with her. (Sorry, not sorry Granny).
There may be moments you feel sad.
You may feel overwhelming sadness this season. Don’t keep it bottled up! Let the tears run and release the sadness from your soul. Don’t feel guilty about feeling sad either. There is NOTHING wrong with it! Someone DIED after all!
There Maybe Moments You Feel Happy.
You may still have moments of happiness this holiday season. Do not feel guilty about this. Feeling happy is one of the nicer aspects of the holidays. You get caught up in all of the Holiday Cheer and that’s a good thing! Your loved one would not want you to spend the holiday being completely miserable.
Signs & Symbols.
You may look for signs and symbols from your loved ones during this season but don’t stress over it. You may see some and you may not. Don’t beat yourself up if the signs and symbols do not fill your entire holiday. Your loved ones are always all around you- despite showing themselves.
Remember the Good Times.
I know, I know, “How cliché,” but it’s true! Sometimes remembering the good times is just what a moment calls for. Not in a way that furthers your sorrow, but in a sense of gratitude. The memory of the good times can also inspire the item on this list.
Create a new Holiday Tradition.
Take the good memories of Christmas past and wrap them up in a new holiday tradition. One that can be continued into the future, but still harkens back to the joy of holidays past. Do something in their honor Honor your ancestors by giving in their honor! Perhaps it is buying toys for underprivileged kids, making a donation to their favorite charity donating your time to a shelter. There are countless ways you may be able to do something in your loved one’s honor.
Decorate Your Loved One’s Grave.
Something my mother and I do for our family is decorating their gravesites. For the Christmas holiday, we make huge wreaths out of the evergreen trees that cover my grandmother’s property and place them at the family gravesite. It is always a very spiritual experience and brings so much peace to my soul.
You may not be able to Listen to Some of Your Favorite Christmas Music.
I cannot listen to the Christmas music my grandparents would listen to every Christmas Eve. (I will not name this singer as I fear my enemies may use that knowledge against me) There may be a time that I am able to listen to these beautiful Christmas songs again but not right now. Music can stir up so much emotion that sometimes you are just unable to manage it all at a certain time. You know that feeling when a song catches you off guard and teleports you to a certain memory or place? That’s what I’m talking about. Just know that it’s natural. It’s all good. You will be okay!
Grieving during the holidays can add a level of stress to an already stressful time. Know that you are not alone and remember that your loved one would still want you to be happy this holiday season. Even though you didn’t make the oyster stew.
I am wishing you and yours a happy and healthy holiday season.
Stay Blessed Babes,