This is a thought that only makes those who are grieving feel even more alone. I am mostly speaking to the newly bereaved. Their first Thanksgiving or Christmas without their loved ones who have passed. I have been there.
Fortunately for me, the kids had not moved to Atlanta yet and I was able to celebrate the Holiday in town with my Family. Mom and I went to Midnight Mass and celebrated Christmas morning and Andy had Christmas dinner at his house with all the extended family..Boy do I miss those days.
I am following some grief support sites that are on Facebook and there are so many people out there who are experiencing recent losses. Rotten time so close to the Holidays, but death makes no distinctions..we know not the hour. These posts break my heart and I just want to tell them that things get better, but it takes time and you need to try different things. If you don’t feel like you can do it (participate in festivities) don’t. Some of us need a little time to ourselves..I couldn’t stand being alone at first..I had to talk..had to make myself realize he was actually gone.
Looking back on my first Christmas without Sam I didn’t write much. Think I was just trying to keep busy to not think about it and writing brings everything back so vividly.
Screaming to the top of my lungs for as long as I still had the voice, to express my absolute horror that he was gone seemed to be the only thing that came to mind. Shortly after Sam died, I prayed to God every morning to please take some of the pain in my heart away so I at least felt like living through the day.. But lets get to the reason for this post: Surviving the Holidays without them.
There are ways to remember our loved ones without having to put an empty chair at the table..which flies in the face of all who are grieving. How about decorating a tree with ornaments of what they enjoyed during their life? For me I put Harley Davidson Motorcycles on the tree. He loved to ride. He also played Santa for his Grandchildren every Christmas, so load the tree with Santa Claus ornaments. Sam had a lot of hobbies and interests, so it’s not too hard for me to come up with ideas..and while you are planning what to do to honor them, it will give you something to concentrate on and look forward to and before you know it, the holidays are here and you made your through them.
There is no one right or wrong way in the grieving process. It’s a very individual thing. Just give yourself some space and time. Soon the happy memories will replace the sadness and your life will go on, but you will never forget them. As time goes by you will not dread the holidays so much, and hopefully you will know they are always with you. You just can’t see them right now, but you’ll be with them soon.
Happy Holidays to all of you and yours. God Bless