When someone you love leaves this earth, every holiday, every birthday, every Father’s Day, Mother’s Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas, etc. will never be the same again. But it doesn’t mean it won’t get better.
My Dad passed away right before Thanksgiving, I had no desire to celebrate, even if holidays had always been split between my parents and kind of nutty. I’d take the chaos of it all any day over not having my Dad with me.
The grief blinds you temporarily, and you can’t see all the other things to be thankful for right in front of you.
That we ourselves are alive and healthy. That we have friends and family. But it takes a while sometimes to be okay with moving on.
Because, I know at least for me, there was a constant nagging feeling that I should be sad, not happy. And that’s okay to feel that way, and it never FULLY goes away. But I do know that if you let it consume you, you will always be sad. It may come and go but the sadness will stick.
Until one day something for me clicked. Yes, people said it to me before; time heals all wounds, but until you’re ready to feel it/realize it. It means absolutely nothing. Until it slowly seeps through to your brain that time can heal. Again it’ll never fully go away but you learn to live with it.
My Dad would never want me to be this sad ALL the time. He would want things to be happy and as normal as one can when these things come up.
You start to fall into a new pattern for those holidays. No, they will never be the same, and you will always feel an ache in your heart but its a step forward. You are allowing yourself to keep living, and for some of us it feels like we can never get to that next level, I know I felt that way.
But you can. It’s all about doing the work that goes along with trauma and grief.
For me, it took me five years. Five years too many! But then again better late than never. It was therapy and working out, and writing that did it for me. I was very unhealthy and depression can make it very hard to start the process of healing.
Just know, not everyone heals the same. What worked for me, may not work for you or others. You have to find your own way to heal.
You have to find it in your heart the way you want to heal. Whether that be reading, therapy, writing, singing, walking, joining a support group, being with friends and family, working out, painting. The list can go on forever. Find something for you that makes it just a fraction easier to get by.
Death leaves behind suffering to those that loved them and were close to them.
1.) Remember to be kind. ALWAYS. Because we don’t know what others have been through or are going through.
2.) Pay kindness forward; especially during the holidays. One small act of kindness can make one person’s day a whole lot brighter!
3.) Also know when to give people space, especially if a loss is fresh.
I used to hate going to two houses for every holiday, what I wouldn’t do to go back to some form of that. But also for me towards the end of my Dad’s life holidays were pretty brutal. With my Dad’s drinking and the fact that his girlfriend and I HATED each other, his cancer and self-pity it wasn’t easy.
I don’t miss that. And I’m grateful to have new traditions with my family as the years passed after his death.
We all wish we could rewind time and freeze it. I would LOVE to have just one more holiday with my Dad when things were yes still kind of chaotic but much simpler.
It gets easier (as easy as one can make it) but its never lost on us that we are missing someone on special days. Just remember its okay to feel that hurt. It will come up, let yourself feel it, and then let it go.
Our loved ones wouldn’t want us to be sad. So remember them, think of good times. But also let the new in as well. It’s scary to think we can be okay without someone we loved, but you can.
I know I thought I’d never be happy again. And I can’t believe I let myself hold onto that thought for so long. But I’m learning to let that mentality go.
So again, remember holidays can be really hard for a lot of people.
Someone may seem like a scrooge, but I bet that someone just needs a touch of kindness or love. So spread what we all preach: “Joy, peace, and love.”
Don’t just put those words up on your wall, make an impact on someone who really needs it. I know it made a huge difference for me. And who knows, maybe you’re already doing it for someone and don’t even know it.
Small acts you think may go unnoticed, but to that other person, you may have just saved their day.