My Forever Memories of You grief blog- facing Christmas
If this is your first Christmas without your loved one by your side, you may be feeling more than a little overwhelmed. Even if it is your second or third holiday season without them, it can still be too much to think about facing without them. There are so many emotions are involved in the holidays with past traditions, hopes and celebrations. Your world has suddenly changed. Nothing seems the same. There will be some like me who would like to take away your pain, but we can’t. It is something you must go through. There are others who will try to tell you in so many words to “get over it” or “go on.”
The only expert on your grief is you. No one but you can express what you had with your loved one and what you are missing. You are the one who must work through it and the holidays often intensify those emotions. One way to prepare is to give yourself room for the onslaught of emotions which are bound to sweep over you with or without warning during this Christmas season.
Only you know if continuing with a certain tradition will help or overload you. So it helps to make tentative plans and lighten your load. Don’t feel like you have to accomplish all the things you did in holidays past. Make a list of what you usually do and then mark the things that are most important to you. Leave yourself room to feel the memories, to cry, to enjoy, to heal, to miss, to laugh, to have quiet time and time shared with others. I know the pandemic complicates Christmas for everyone this year, but it is even more challenging than ever for those fresh in grief. Make allowances for yourself. Be gentle with yourself.
If you make plans or accept invitations, let others know, you have no idea how you will feel on that day, so you may have to bow out or leave early. All of you know by now, grief doesn’t fit neatly into our schedule. Leave some time to have an evening to look through photos, relive memories, listen to music, set by the fire, and thank God for the great gift you were given in your loved one. Don’t be afraid to feel, it actually will help you in the long run.
And don’t forget that God sent Jesus, His Son, as a helpless baby- born to die to take away our sin so we can live with Him for all eternity. It is the most miraculous thing to ever happen. Your loved one may have had to leave but the Lord never will. He has always been with you, is now and forever will be.
Love and prayers for each of you during this Christmas season,
“And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:20