There’s little that’s worse than grieving through the holidays; in my experience. So for starters don’t expect too much of yourself, do what feels right and let the rest be for another year. There have been holiday seasons when I was in such deep grief that even putting up the Christmas tree felt like it a task beyond what I could handle. On that year I hung a wreath and had a tiny one foot table top Christmas tree, Christmas cards that year became Valentine cards! My pain was so deep, my grief so shattering that all I wished for was New Years Day; knowing that would mean Christmas was over and a new and hopefully less painful year was beginning.

I cannot make your grief less, or take away your pain. I can only tell you, take care of your self, your spirit and allow yourself to truly grieve the ones you miss. That is the only real way through the pain; to feel the loss, to feel the depth of missing them and to talk to them in spirit, or keep a journal and write out your pain. That worked for me like nothing else did and today I am a happier, healed person for allowing my grief a place in my life. I allowed myself days when all I did was sit and cry and read inspirational books, or walk on the beach or sit under a tree and remember the person I loved so dearly, who was taken from my life.

I feel for each of you in this season. I know the pain of grief and I send up prayers thaty each of you will be watched over and supported in your dark days. I remember distinctly the Christmas after my father died; (2003) there was a holiday commercial on that year that practically made me nautious. In the commercial was a big happy family in red sweaters with a golden retriever all grouped near the Christmas tree beaming with happiness as if everything in their world couldn’t be more perfect. My thought every single time I saw that commercial was I will never be a family like that, because my parents and daughter have been taken from me. It felt so unfair, because my pain was so great. I hated to even see their happiness.

Sometimes in our grief it is unbelievably painful to see others in their happiness; thankfully that feeling fades and we find a way to make peace with our loss and to create life for ourselves again. Our lives will never be the same after our loss, but they can indeed be positive again with time, healing, grief counseling, prayer and a journal. Be gentle with yourself this season and do only what you feel able to handle and close the door on the rest; saving it for another time or year when you feel more ready to handle it. Blessings to each of you!