As 2020 begins to wind down, many are looking toward the Holiday season to bring in a much needed cheer in the world. But for all too many, approaching Holidays means dealing with loss again, or due to 2020, for the very first time.
Grief looks different this year. It may not only be due to loss of a human close to your heart, grief now abounds in the form of loneliness, separation, social anxiety, and mourning for an older sense of ‘normal.’
As with any occasion that makes you think of togetherness, this upcoming season can be a time of deep contemplation and revisiting the ever fluctuating stages of grief.
If you are experiencing grief this time of year, or any time of year, you are not alone. And while your grief may manifest differently throughout the impending season, know that your feelings are real, valid, and here to be felt.
When you, or your children, encounter moments when it feels too strong to bear, here are some helpful ways to allow yourself to feel while gently encouraging yourself to continue to make a connection with those you have lost and love the most:
- Write a letter – write a letter to your loved one who has passed. Take your time to share your emotions or perhaps focus on writing about a memory you cherish dearly. Then, bury the letter in a spot that is special to you and your deceased loved one.
- Save a spot at the table – light a candle, place a photo, and acknowledge that your loved ones presence is with you on the night’s that you need them the most. Keep up with the traditions, the special recipes, and the fancy dishware that may have meant the world to your customs and culture, if it feels manageable at the time.
- Move your body – energy needs to be moved in order to be processed, and so do you. You are entitled to feel sad. To help yourself feel better, go outside in nature. Head for a hike, walk on the sand, or go for a jog in a park. Stagnant energy stays stagnant. Moving energy allows for shifts.
- Make a special plan – have something that you always loved to do with the departed? Plan a special date to keep up with the tradition and ask yourself; ‘how would they want me to feel in this moment?’
- Put out a memory box – a special box, stocking, or traditional memento that will be a place for all to share their special memories for the departed.
- Communicate your needs – Maybe there are traditions you’d love to keep and others you can’t bear to face. Perhaps you’ll be spending the holidays differently this year or creating a brand new tradition to move forward with! Whatever you decide is best for you, make certain to share your truth with the people who share the holidays, and the grief with. And remember: everyone grieves differently. No one has to understand but you.
Perhaps you are already busy and you are finding that more and more you are distracted by your grief; it keeps you on the couch or pins you to the bed despite all the work you have to get done.
If this is the case, take time to feel your feelings. Be honest with yourself and with those who depend on you.
When it feels right, you can visualize yourself placing overwhelming thoughts on a shelf momentarily. This may allow you the space to work toward your goals with work, home, and additional responsibilities, knowing that you can come back to your feelings and space on the shelf, when you are ready to be done.
Grief is not linear. There is no one road that leads to processing it faster, more quickly, or with ease. In fact, if you do, you may miss out on valuable healing that awaits.
Feelings are here for you to be felt. Sadness, as overwhelming as it feels at times, is a reminder that love once existed in it’s space.
If this year has shown you anything, it’s that you matter, your feelings matter, and health is the most valuable resource on the planet.
Are you experiencing grief this time of year? InnerClarity offers guidance in working with your grief so that you can find moments of joy as you learn to navigate the intensity of your emotions. You don’t have to go through it alone. Schedule a consultation today.