Encouragement, Home Life, Staying Sane

What Do The Lonely Do At Christmas?

(photo credit: David Sonluna)

If you’ve ever lost someone, then you probably know that the holidays can be a hard time. When most people are singing, laughing, planning, and decorating, grief can stifle those moments without notice. I lost my mom in January of 2017 to cancer. The holiday season of 2016 was ROUGH for my family, as we were in the thick of trying to get a diagnosis for the suffering my mom was enduring.

Thanksgiving Eve, I’m pretty sure that I had an emotional breakdown. I had given birth to my youngest son just about a week prior, and I wanted some sense of normalcy, despite needing to rest. I went by my parents’ house to try and help prep food, and saw my mom, out of her bed, trying to stir a bowl of dressing with the little strength that she had. My dad, who couldn’t cook, was trying his hardest to be a sous chef. I lost it. I went into a babbling frenzy trying to explain that I had to go back home. She looked at me with care and concern and just said, “it’s ok, baby. You’re overwhelmed. It’s a lot. I know.” I felt awful to leave so abruptly, but I couldn’t take it.

The tree was barely decorated days before christmas. The one gift for my oldest son, from my in-laws, was thrown under the tree on Christmas day, unwrapped. I cried nightly, talking and praying to God while looking at the night sky. I slept on the couch with my newborn, so as not to wake my husband. Whew.

So, what can those who are grieving do during the holidays? I’ve compiled a list of things that have helped me, as well as links to sites/pages with tips from therapists.

How I Coped With Loss/Sadness During the Holidays

1. I allowed myself to feel the pain. I didn’t try to mask it, except in my mother’s presence. 

2. I listened to some of my favorite songs whenever I had some time alone. If I wanted to have a good cry, I listened to songs that evoked that emotion. It was cleansing. Music/poetry are my thing. If I wanted to feel happy and hopeful, I listened to music that evoked happiness. 

3. I surrounded myself with family and friends. 

4. I prayed and talked to GOD constantly. I also used self-talk to fight negative feelings that I was having. 

5. I wrote in a journal or jotted down my feelings.

Below are links to helpful tips for dealing with grief during the holidays. I hope you can find something that works for you. I pray that you will be comforted in your grief. 

Psychology Today https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/what-mentally-strong-people-dont-do/201512/how-deal-grief-during-the-holidays

Grief.com https://grief.com/grief-the-holidays/

Cancer.orghttps://www.cancer.org/latest-news/coping-with-grief-during-the-holidays.html

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