This is such a crazy time of year, one minute I feel excited and the next overwhelmed with the entire season and the zillion tasks to complete. I understand deeply the feelings of pain and loss you can face around the holidays. Even if your loss wasn’t recent the whole holiday glitz and cheer can set off reminders of our pain and the struggles we face in grief.
The thing I can suggest is … what you can handle. During the really rough years I did the parts of the holiday I felt I could handle and I released the others, knowing sometime in the future I would feel less pain. Don’t beat yourself up if you can’t handle the festivities and the holiday cheer. Your life has painfully changed and your perceptions are deeply altered. Allow yourself to do what you can mentally and physically handle and let the rest be for another time.

Three years ago I had a hell of a Christmas, just four months after my father died unexpectedly at age 59. I remember saying to a friend I wished I could have the holiday experience you see in the Hallmark commercial, the family in the holiday sweaters, happy, smiling with life appearing in order. Where was that experience for my family? Instead we were grieving the loss of my father taken much too young and painfully. I still dont have the perfect life with the family in the red sweaters and sometimes my life still feels deeply painful with reminders of loved ones and friends gone too soon, too young. Yet I have learned to accept where I am today and allow the pain to wash over me as it will and to go with it. Sometimes that means I cry as I drive and I change the radio for songs I used to treasure because now they are too painful to hear. Yet I’ve healed, I am making huge inroads of progress. I can feel it and I can see it. You will find it too, with time. Give yourself time and allow yourself to truly grieve your loved one. May you be filled with the peace of heavenly guidance in this season of love and spiritual renewal.