The holidays can remind us of Christmas pasts, at the same time we are navigating Christmas present, all while we dream of bright holidays for the future. It can be a time of celebration, worship, gift giving, service, connection, and renewal of family traditions, but the holiday season can also be a stark reminder of the absence of those that aren’t with us at this time.
My heart goes out to my neighbor because of the recent death of his mother who passed away in California due to complications with Co-vid. It was such a difficult time for their family as the situation escalated so quickly. I know many families who have recently suffered the loss of a loved one or have family members still suffering from long-term effects of co-vid. Some families have lost several family members due to the pandemic.
Whether you have recently experienced loss, long term illness, a break-up or divorce, or anything that has been life altering there can be sadness as you reflect upon those loved ones who once graced your holiday table, or laughed at your not so funny jokes, or seemed to know what you were feeling even before you did, or sometimes hugged you so tight you couldn’t breathe.
Whether you have experienced a recent loss or are still adapting to a new norm, there can be overwhelming feelings of grief accompanied by momentary twinges of pain especially when the memories of loved ones come flooding back with waves of deep sadness and loneliness.
Coping with grief can be challenging, but understanding that it is normal and something that we all pass through when it comes to loss can help us not feel so disconnected or alienated. Here are some simple ideas that might help you find joy and comfort during the holiday season.
TOP 10 WAYS TO DEAL WITH LOSS DURING THE HOLIDAYS
Focus on what you can control
Communicate with others about your loss
Set healthy boundaries
Allow yourself to feel a wide range of emotions without self-judgment
Find ways to honor your memories
Create new traditions
Talk about fun memories with loved ones
Be engaged in service
Let this time be a time to connect to yourself and what you are feeling. Get curious about how you are handling your grief. Recognize emotional triggers. Make sure you have a strong support system. Reach out when you need to talk. Journaling can be a wonderful tool to help work through grief. Most of all be patient with yourself and understand that we all move through grief in our own unique ways. There is no right or wrong way to mourn the loss of connection and love.
It is powerful when we recognize our vulnerability and our humanness. Know that these experiences have the capacity to increase our ability for compassion. Loss helps us appreciate what we do have. It helps us re-evaluate what is really important in our lives. We live in a world of duality and oftentimes we learn the value of love when that special someone is no longer with us. I want to offer my heartfelt sorrow for your personal losses and offer reassurance that you can find joy and comfort during this holiday season . . . you may just have to look for it a little bit harder.
I promise if you look long enough and hard enough you will find comfort. You may find it while listening to an old Christmas song playing on the radio, or while hanging a cherished Christmas ornament on the tree, you may find some peace as the snow is falling on a cold December night, or as you are participating in a special family Christmas tradition.
Watch for those moments where you are being comforted from those on the other side, those who are reaching beyond the veil and communicating to you sweet messages of love and reminding you, that you have not been forgotten, nor have you been forsaken and that they are still with you, even now. You just have to BELIEVE in the magic of Christmas. Healing CAN take place during the holidays.
If you are struggling or you know of someone who is, we are available to offer IPT Clinic sessions to help support those that are suffering or who are going through difficult times right now. Call 801-785-5259 to schedule a session.
God Bless everyone during this holiday season!
With all my love,