Holiday Grief

A time to weep and a time to laugh, for everything there is a season and here it is holiday season ...again! A time for gaiety and laughter, the music is playing have a jolly, jolly Christmas and Iím not ready to do that. It was only a few months ago when my loved one left, leaving me behind. The house is so quiet with just me in it, my friends and family have long since rejoined their lives and I am...alone. For me it is still a time to weep. My life is forever changed, it will never be the same. There will be an empty chair at the table this year and even though it hurts to look at that chair, it hurts even more to think of someone else sitting in that chair. Holiday joy seems to be way beyond my reach. There is still a lot of pain in my heart.

Perhaps as you read this you are feeling much the same way. I remember when I felt these things. Everyone thought that grief had gone from my life. I could deal with everyday events and even smile but inside there was still a lot of weeping and pain in my heart.

Our house was not silent and I was not alone, there were other children, gifts, a tree and turkey but there was that empty chair and a lot of pain in my heart. I discovered as I worked my way through the desert of grief that filling those empty places by giving, helped a lot. There are many ways to help ease yourself through the holidays, here are some of them.

Try to make someone else happy. If you have family close by, spend your holidays with the ones you love and enjoy the most. If you are alone volunteer to help feed the homeless or ask some one else who is alone to share the day with you. A Chinese proverb says that fragrance clings to the hand that gives a rose.

Be good to yourself. Prepare in advance. Trying to cram everything you need to do in a short space of time wears you out and leaves you vulnerable to every overwhelming emotion. So space your activities in such a way that you will have adequate rest.

Keep an eye on your nutrition and fluid intake. Avoid alcoholic beverages and over loads of sugar. Both of these things will add to any depression you may have.

Determine that in spite of everything, you will draw the best from each day. God has given each of us the will to survive, use it.

Donít be afraid of your memories. Itís okay to cry, tears are healing. Do something special to commemorate your loved one. Plant a tree or give a gift in their name.

It may take a while but one morning when you wake up, the pain will be diminished, but the cherished memories will still be there. You will know the meaning of absent from the body but still in my heart. Then your mourning will be turned to joy, your weeping will gradually turn to laughter and you will begin to live again.