The holidays are upon us and
for those in grief, holidays may be the last thing that we want to think
about. Holidays bring up past memories when our loved ones were with
us - and it's extremely painful to be separated physically.
We not only have to deal with our own pain of loss,
but of other family members as well. And the grief is different for
each person within the immediate family structure. Some individuals
experience with grief will shake their very core, while others
seemingly take it in stride. This difference in grief experience very
often seems to pit one loved one against another because neither one
can understand why the grief is so apparently different than their
own. Resentment starts to build.
Those that are outside of the immediate family - the
web of extended family and friends - probably are not capable of
understanding grief and why the pain endures over an extended time.
Unless a person has personally experienced the loss of a close loved
one, they are incapable of understanding the depth of emotion and
despair that come out of the mourning process. And without this
understanding, they are at a complete loss when the grieving person
cannot just "get over it" or "snap out of it" -
much less to understand why the holidays are a very stressful
ordeal for the bereaved.
The first thing that you can do on yourself during the
holidays is to give yourself permission to be where you are at
emotionally. Don't berate yourself or compare yourself to others. Just
be - acceptance is so important in grief.
After you have given
yourself acceptance, look within and see if altering the traditional
way your family has always celebrated Christmas could be revised.
Perhaps in the past there has been much materialism and the loss of
your loved one has painfully reminded you of what is truly important.
If so, discuss this with your immediate family and make steps to
gently reorder the priorities in your holiday schedule.
Making homemade gifts
(crafts and sweet treats) is an excellent way of including the family
and to encourage conversation, without all the frenzy of the shopping
malls. Whatever you choose, make sure that it reduces your level of
stress - and includes the entire immediate family, if possible.
commitments that are not crucial, and that do not include family
members - remember that the holidays are a special time that should be
spent with family. Think about charitable things that the whole family
could help with - perhaps a day at a homeless kitchen serving food; a
visit to a senior care facility; caroling at a hospital - anything
that the entire family could be involved in for one day to promote
unity and caring. It is often times amazing that we can't see what
blessings we do have in our life until we see those who have less.
And last - and most
important of all - don't forget the reason for the season. Christmas is when we celebrate the birth of Christ - the
Messiah; Almighty God in human form; the Invisible God made Visible.
He came in the most humble of circumstances, in order to show all of
mankind that He came for the poor as well as the rich - for all of us
regardless of our circumstances. And His awesome gift of everlasting
life for all in the world to come should be remembered often - we will
be reunited with our loved ones - never to be parted again.
And Jesus grew in
wisdom and statute, and in favor with God and men. (Luke 2:52) May
we all allow the Lord to grow in wisdom, statute and in favor in the
innermost parts of our hearts forevermore.
you have been touched by the death of a loved one and are looking for
comforting, uplifting information regarding the life to come, please
go to our
Afterlife Information Page
Textured Background courtesy of:
Mouse Script Courtesy
of Dynamic Drive
Music is a selection of three random
The First Noel
Bring a Torch, Jeanette Isabella