The Holidays, Grief, and You

I’ve blogged about it before, but I think it is important to discuss again. The holidays can be a very difficult time for anyone, especially those who may be grieving. This being my 7th Christmas without Jen, I feel like I may have some advice that I can share with anyone (and everyone) who may be having some sadness in their hearts this (and any) holiday season.

Grief Has No Timeline

If anyone tells you, “Oh its been so-many-years since so-in-so passed. You need to get over it,” I want you to remove that cesspool from your life because you don’t need that person, or their narrow-minded thoughts in your life.

Grief does not have a timeline. There is no start date (for some people, it may take time for the pain to really sink in), and there is absolutely no end date. As someone who is grieving, it is helpful to know that you are on your own personal journey, and you take as much, or as little, time as you need.

It is also important to point out that you can’t compare you grief journey to anyone else; even family members. My grief is completely different that my Mom, Dad, and Brother’s, and different from friends who lost sisters themselves. No two people grieve the same, and that is totally okay.

The holiday season is a trigger time for me, and is one of the few times a year that I miss her extra. It can be 1 month, 1 year, or 1 decade. The holidays just bring out all the emotions.

You Do You, BooBoo

I feel like from Thanksgiving to New Years, I am running around non-stop. From work, to parties, to shopping, to everything else, it can be completely overwhelming. Now throw on grief, and it can seem almost unbearable.

It is important to take time for yourself; whether it be an afternoon off or a whole relaxing weekend. It may be helpful to find something you truly enjoy, and make that “your thing.”

For me, it’s getting my nails done. I go to my favorite salon, put my headphones on, and watch Food Network shows on my phone. I am able to tune out everything else, and just take time for me.

Those 90 mins really help me recharge and prepare me for whatever that week has in store. If you’re grieving, and feeling like you have no time for you, do something that makes you feel important. Go get coffee at the fancy coffee shop. Find a quiet corner and read a chapter in a book. Whatever it is, make sure its for you.

Traditions are You’re Best Friend and Worst Enemy

For some, you may find comfort in keeping traditions that you shared with your loved one. For others,  trying to keep those traditions may be too unbearable to handle. And heck, you may even feel both ways about the same family tradition.

What works for me is having a bit of everything; keeping some old traditions, passing on other traditions, and then making new traditions. It’s hard to do things when you used to do them with your loved one. But it can also be nice to create new traditions that honor them, in a way that nothing else could ❤

Happy Chanukkah, Merry Christmas, and Here’s to 2018!

xoxo

Jacqueline

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