“Grief is not a disorder, a disease or a sign of weakness. It is an emotional, physical and spiritual necessity, the price you pay for love. The only cure for grief is to grieve.” – Dr. Earl A. Grollman
Sometimes we have to walk through the pain of loss. It hurts; it’s uncomfortable; and it’s unavoidable. Moreover, navigating through grief during the holidays is like tiptoeing through a minefield. Any wrong move can fire off a blast of excruciating emotions. No matter how much we try to dodge those emotional bombs, there is always a misstep.
Our Society & Grief
Our society does not handle grief well. In fact, I believe there is embarrassment attached to grief. We feel badly for causing others’ discomfort if we outwardly express our despair, so we keep it hidden behind closed doors. The holidays intensify grief and exacerbate feelings of loneliness. Most people do not want to bring others down with their sadness, so they isolate themselves. After a loss, I don’t think there is a way to make it through this supposedly happy time of year without sadness; however, I do think there are ways to lessen its strangling grip.
Give Yourself Time To Grieve
It is important to allow oneself time to go through the grieving process, and this process doesn’t suddenly halt because of the holidays. It is not only okay to be sad, but important to feel loss. Emotions are what makes us human and separate us from other species. However, putting a smile on someone else’s face by completing a single act of kindness during this holiday season may just light up your own.
Start New Traditions
Sometimes, a shift in perspective can also lessen our suffering. The holidays can be the perfect time to begin a new tradition in honor of a loved one. Acknowledging even the daily, small things that we are grateful for brings positivity to the moment. As one goes through the day with that awareness, positive feelings grow like interest on an investment. A walk in nature can also rejuvenate our soul. Noticing the majestic shimmer of a fresh snowfall or the delicate intricacies of a flower illustrates to us that this world truly is wonderful. Finally, the classic movie, It’s a Wonderful Life reminds us that we all have purpose; every life matters; and we need community.
I wish everyone a blessed, holiday season.