Over the past few weeks, I began to feel an old familiar stirring deep within my heart. It’s a feeling hard to ignore. Since Melanie ran ahead to heaven, as each holiday approaches I’m left with a hole that cannot be filled. The memories of times past begin to creep in and no matter what I do anxiety manages to creep in.
We all know many refer to this as the most wonderful time of the year. But for those who are walking the grief journey, it can be far from wonderful.
The memories can still take our breath away, even if they are good ones.
Hallmark began the Countdown to Christmas, and if you’ve been following me for any length of time you already know I have always loved watching Christmas movies. Why? Probably because they are generally happy movies, filled with love and they always end in a happily-ever-after. So unrealistic, I know, but still a great escape.
Is it possible to get through this season and end up like a Hallmark movie? Doubtful. But what can we do, to help make this wonderful time of year a bit more tolerable?
Although I’m no expert, there may be a few things to consider to help survive the most wonderful time of the year:
- Do something for someone else in memory of your loved one.
- Consider putting up a special tree in honor of your loved one. Last year I made a sunflower tree and put a few ornaments on it that were special to Melanie. I liked it so much I kept it up all year. Every time I pass by and look at one of the sunflowers, I think of my girl and smile. If the thought of putting up a tree makes you cringe, then just don’t put it up! It’s OK.
- Don’t feel obligated to attend every holiday event you’re invited to. Accept only those invitations you feel comfortable attending. Maybe you can go and stay for 1 hour. But, if you don’t feel up to going, it’s okay to decline the invitation.
- Change up your traditions. Did you always stay home? Then, maybe take a trip somewhere you’ve never been before.
For me and my family, the real reason we celebrate Christmas is Jesus. He is the reason for the season. It’s not the gift-giving, or all the pomp and circumstance that oftentimes accompanies it, and that is where my focus will remain. As my friend, Cheryl recently shared in a great post, let’s keep the Christ in Christmas!