The holidays are a wonderful, joyful time, filled with cheer and laughter. Unless you are mourning the loss of someone you love. The first year of grief is often very difficult. It is even harder during the holidays when we are supposed to be cheery and uplifted and all we can think about are those not with us this year.
You may feel that it is incompatible to celebrate the holidays and grieve, but it isn’t. Nor is it disrespectful to those who are gone. It is quite possible to hold two very different emotions at the same time. You can smile and feel warm and fuzzy seeing your children singing holiday songs while at the same time shed a tear because your mother isn’t here to share in the experience.
It is important that we do acknowledge those that are missing and that we talk about them, tell stories and laugh over things that would have made them laugh. They are still part of our lives. It is important that we make them part of our holidays. You may even want to light a candle for them or pour them a glass of wine or make a toast to them.
It is also important that you allow yourself to enjoy the holidays. You are allowed to be happy and enjoy. You do not have to put aside all joy. That does not honor the dead.
So, celebrate the holidays as well as those that are no longer with us. Happy holidays.