Talking About Grief and Holidays

Christmas time is here. While this is the most joyful time of year for many, for people who have suffered a loss of any kind, this is the time of year that hurts the most. Sure, holiday drinks and the joyful traditions that come with the holiday surely help. However, there will always be a reminder that my mom isn’t there to celebrate.

This is my second Christmas without my mother. Last year, I tried to do some of the same traditions that my mom and I did together. However, it just felt really weird. I know that happens when you do something for many years, and then you start an entirely new tradition. During the entire Christmas season, I kept on thinking I miss my mom. And, guess what? That is completely normal.

The sad reality about this is that there is not remedy for this loss that I’ve experienced. And, I’ve learned that the most important thing to do is just allow myself that feeling. I know that it’s crazy, but the more that I try to bottle everything up, the worst that it is going to be. I think by giving yourself that allowance, it really helps you realize that it is okay to feel your feelings.

One of the things that also helped me was “giving” my mom a present. Okay, this sounds weird, but basically I would just buy myself a Christmas gift and not open it until Christmas. It’s a way that makes me feel like I am kind of purchasing her a gift. Last year, it was my Tiffany and Co. Bean Necklace, and I put it in my stocking for me not to open until Christmas. This year, I took advantage of the Pandora sales, and decided to just wear them now.

Another thing that has been helpful is just visiting her grave as much as I can during the holidays as well. I have a hard time visiting my mom’s grave to the point where the only way I am able to do so is with my dog, but doing so the holidays and other special occasions helps me feel as though she is included.

Finally, the best advice is to just take some time for yourself and self care. Self care is something that isn’t selfish, and is especially important during this time of year. So, take some time to indulge in relaxing, and indulging in just slowing down. Furthermore, I’ve found it very important to keep up your healthy habits, such as working out, drinking water, and relaxing.

I know this time of year is usually busy (2020 is going to be different) but making sure you allow yourself to do things such as journal, drink a cup of tea, and working out is super important. This can be hard when balancing family and friends obligations, however, remember that putting yourself first is what matters.

Overall, the holidays definitely intensify the pain of losing a loved one. I am no expert, but all I can say that is just giving yourself the space and the grace to feel your feelings is what gets you through it.

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