One thing I love about this time of year, are the rich conversations that we share with other people. Sunday night my mom and I were talking about her Mom (my granny) and how much we loved her. My heart felt so full, because I loved my granny and she left my life at a young age, however it does not negate the fact that I still miss her. My Mom and I continued to share stories or memories about our loved ones we had loss.
God put it on my heart to write about grief and facing the holidays this season. Here our a few tips and suggestions for facing this time of year.
To the person who is grieving:
I am big on traditions. They can be little simple things, but I believe they keep my heart pumping with joy. I would like to challenge you, that if you have loss a loved one, to decide what tradition you want to keep ensuring you are honoring them around the holidays.
Another suggestion I would incorporate is to light a candle for your loved ones, for a reminder that even though they are here with us in present who they are will never be forgotten.
You can also create a memory book, memory stocking, memory box, or whatever you choose, to write down your favorite memories of that person and share out at the function. This could make you emotional, but it shouldn’t make you upset. We want to honor our loved ones with love and not anger. So, share good memories and embrace your tears, it is ok to miss them, but I am more than positive those stories will bring out more smiles and laughter……filling up that space of hurt with a little more joy.
If your loved one had a favorite: dish, music, movie etc. incorporate that into your holiday celebration.
Lastly something I do often in my daily life, and I encourage the students I counsel to do the same is journaling. I would incorporate a gratitude and grief journal together. Gratitude is important because it is easy to forget things, we are thankful for during a season where we may be hurting. (Plus, It immediately enhances your mood). If it is an extremely rough day, I would write in the grief journal to help process your feelings.
Remember it is ok to seek professional help, if you can’t seem to get over the hump of being down daily due to missing your loved ones. Don’t continue to ignore the hurt and seek wise counsel.
To the people not grieving:
Please remember that grief can appear in waves, never tell anyone to get over it or you thought they were passed that point, instead:
Acknowledge that they may be hurting especially this time of year and ask how you can help them.
Do not take it personal if they decline a holiday party, dinner, celebration invite, respect that boundary. Let them know they are always welcome but that you understand if it is just too soon to be around a big crowd. Offer to bring them a plate or a gift to let them know you are thinking about them during this season.
Ask them how you can help honor their loved one with them.
Remember as Christians we are called to a higher standard, we are a light to this world. Let us acknowledge the broken hearted, remove ourselves so that we can serve and meet that need.
Father God, I want to pray for anyone who may be grieving right now. That you bind out any depression, anger, frustration and replace it with joy, understanding and support. I pray that anyone during this season, that may be questioning how they will get through this time without that person that they never imagined living their life without, that you send them someone, who will sit with them, love on them and let them know that each day it will get easier. You word said that you will comfort us, let your followers be a living witness of your word. In Jesus name I pray amen.
Your Sista on the Sofa,