The Power of Holiday Grief

One of my favorite movies as a child was Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer. One of my favorite things to do at Christmas was decorating the tree, with Mom. As an adult, going with Dad to pick out my tree and listening to Christmas music from days long ago and still tapping my finger at our family breakfast waiting for everyone to finish so that we could open what Santa had brought us. 

Today, the sweet memories strike a cord of grief that is unexplainable. It’s a nerve so tender that the slightest things can set it off. How a holiday that once gave me so much joy can cause so much pain is an emotional contradiction. The sadness I feel feels sadder, and the loss seems more profound. 

Grief is a powerful emotion. It sneaks up on you, grabs you in the gut and floors you. Many of you that I’ve talked to are dealing with grief at this time of year. Some grieving over a loved one that you’ve recently lost, lost years ago, or loved ones still alive but you’ve lost them as they used to be. 

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I genuinely wish I had a guidebook to help you step by step, or the ability to take away your pain. I don’t. But I do have a few suggestions of things I have written down over the years as a reminder (I have them posted inside my kitchen cabinet):

I genuinely wish I had a guidebook to help you step by step, or the ability to take away your pain. I don’t. But I do have a few suggestions of things I have written down over the years as a reminder (I have them posted inside my kitchen cabinet):

  • Be gentle with yourself

  • Don’t be compelled to do anything more than you want to

  • Don’t keep your feelings bottled up because ‘you shouldn’t still be feeling this way.’ If you have 500 tears, please don’t stop at 250

  • Allow others to help. This is not the time to say “I’ve got this…” when what you want is someone to hug you and listen

Grief can paralyze you if you let it so don’t be afraid to reach out for help or talk to someone that can understand without judgment. Family, friends or a support group (You can join our closed Facebook group if there is not a support group near you).  And sometimes, you need to allow the grief to be what it is, feel it, be with it, and let it go by doing something that fills you up instead of trudging through daily tasks. Take a walk, see a movie, drink hot chocolate….do something that fills YOU back up. And remember to take one moment at a time. 


Big hugs,

Cyndi

Life is a balance between what we can control and what we cannot. I am learning to live between effort and surrender. ~ Danielle Orner