The Aftershocks of a Holiday

I’m sure there are many of us breathing a sigh of relief this week.  Holidays are hard without our loved ones. There is so much anticipation and expectation associated with each one.

Mother’s Day can be very bittersweet. Maybe you’re a person without a mother. Or maybe you’re a mother without your child.  Either way, Mother’s Day is a tough holiday.  

Now that we made it through the actual day, how are you really feeling?

If you’re like me, maybe it’s the days following when the walls come tumbling down. Each one of us is so different in how we manage our grief journey.

Over the course of my professional career one of the things I learned early on was that I was good while in the middle of an emergency. One of the roles I held required me to be a member of our Emergency Response Team. As you would imagine this was a very high-level stress position. If there was an aircraft incident we were required to assist the families of those involved in the crash. Although there was a lot of training involved, thankfully, it was something we didn’t have to use often.

While I was in the middle of the incident I was able to handle whatever came my way. But just like an earthquake has aftershocks, which can be just as strong and fierce, it was in the days following the event that affected me the most.  

During one particular incident I was away from home for almost two weeks. The days were very long, with little sleep. We worked off of adrenaline and helped numerous people in any way possible. The day after I arrived home I woke up and felt like I’d been hit by a truck. All of a sudden the weight of all I had experienced hit me.

It’s the aftershocks that can take its toll on you – physically, mentally, and emotionally. We need to allow ourselves the opportunity to rest and heal.

Grief is very much like the aftershocks of an earthquake. Maybe on the actual holiday you didn’t want to make everyone around you feel sad, so you held your true emotions in check. You donned your mask, pasted a smile on your face, and made it all look good to those around you.

But it’s the aftershock of the holiday when the walls come crashing down. If this is you, my friend, I encourage you to let them fall.

We need to let our emotions out in a healthy manner. Let the tears flow. It’s a medically documented fact that crying is healthy for you. It releases oxytocin and endorphins. These feel-good chemicals help ease so much of the physical and emotional pain we are feeling due to our loss.

From another perspective, I love that our tears do not go unnoticed by God:

You keep track of all my sorrows.
You have collected all my tears in your bottle.
You have recorded each one in your book ~ Psalm 56:8

As the days move forward remove your mask, grab a tissue, and take some time for yourself. Allow yourself to reflect on the one you loved who is no longer here. Know that our hurts are not unseen by the one who can help heal all our broken hearts.

Wishing you much peace this week.

Published by pat

Mom. Wife. Honey. Jesus-Girl. Love to travel, cook, make beautiful things grow and spend time with family & friends.

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