During the holidays, we are bombarded with messages of celebration and images of others gathering with those they love. But what if you don’t feel like celebrating? What if the person you wish to spend this time with the most has died?
If you are enveloped in grief as you mark another year passed of a loved one lost, know that you are not alone. Talk to someone who can relate your situation. Reach out to a therapist to help process this grief. Have a ritual for this time of year to remember the person you love. Maybe you write them a letter or you light a candle in their memory. Perhaps you take some time to look through photographs or watch videos of the person. As you are getting together with family and friends, swap stories of this loved one and pass around the tissue box. Whatever the ritual is that works for you, mark the calendar each year to set aside some time to celebrate this person’s memory during the busy holiday season.
Having the time set aside to do this may allow a holding place for your grief, so that it doesn’t feel so overpowering. As you go though the holiday season, don't forget to hold onto the moments of joy and happiness amidst your grief, even if they are brief. Lean into your full range of emotions.