Holidays can be a painful time

snow lanterns

Grief is a funny thing.

It can come at you like a rogue wave or walk with you day by day.

Once you get through the initial stages of grief, experience all the anniversaries and find your basic daily life balance you are left with a grief that is causal in nature and forever changes your orientation in life.

Grief is compounding in nature like a concussion.

The initial impact is only the beginning and the daily toll is something each person experiences uniquely. The pharmaceutical companies have become fond of anthropomorphizing the ailments they are treating these days. Turn on the TV and you are likely to see a woman walking down the street with her bladder, a man fighting his mucus and a child working with his distractions. Depression is always pictured as a dark cloud. Grief is never discussed and when it is acknowledged it is quickly swept under the rug or offered a distraction. In the everyday world of treatment, it is acknowledged but not embraced.

Grief is a part of life. We grieve what we wanted in life and didn’t get. We grieve the disappointments in friends and family. We grieve our disappointments in who we are and what we thought we would become. We grieve the ones we lost either through illness, accident or intention. Grief is a daily occurrence and therefore a part of the holiday experience.

Recently, grief hit me like a rogue wave. I brought home a noble tree for Christmas. A tradition my father and I had since I was a child. We would select the tree, cut it down, bring it home and clean it. Set it up in the house, get it straight and stable (a feat in and of itself) then decorate. It was a half day production but one that we enjoyed together.

My parents passed away four and a half years ago and I miss them. The memories and experiences wash over me every time and I enjoy them even if I do feel sad. I am glad to remember both the good and the bad.

When I brought in the tree this year I was rushed. I didn’t have the time I wanted to set up the tree and it sat crookedly in the corner while I went about others things that needed to happen first. It didn’t sit well with me that the tree was not set up, I felt distracted and overwhelmed but at the time I didn’t know why. Once I was able to be at home and unwind the grief hit. I was flatten by it, unable to move or think just paralyzed by the pain and loss of my parents, specifically my father as I entered another Christmas season without him.

I eventually rallied, finished the tree and went to sleep with the peace of awareness and sadness of the loss that would not change.

Grief is a funny thing, a painful thing but a necessary thing.

Embrace your grief and you can make it a manageable part of your life.

A part of the holidays and year end review saying goodbye to the past and being open to future possibilities.


Have something to share? Please leave a comment.

One Comment

  • Laurie
    Posted December 23, 2015 at 3:39 am | Permalink

    Thank you for sharing. I can see you and your Dad in my memories of you two together and can almost feel your ache. I’m glad you find some peace in your love of him during the holiday. I miss my mom in almost the same way to this day, many years later, just less sharply. It becomes a part of you, easier to touch on, but never really gone. xoxoxo

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