When everyone’s NOT waiting on the holidays….
The seasons are changing, leaves are turning colors, and we’re a few days away from Thanksgiving, and just over 30 days away from Christmas. For most, the holidays are a time of food, family, fun, YOU NAME IT! However, for some, the holidays are a reminder of what used to be. Grief grips everyone differently, and is managed in different ways. Grief is defined as keen mental suffering or distress over affliction or loss; sharp sorrow; painful regret. So, whether you’ve experienced a death of a loved one, a break-up, divorce, or a distant move, you could experience holiday grief around this time of year. As the month of October ends with Halloween, and children are putting their costumes away for next year, those of us who struggle with the holiday season, begin our time of mask wearing. We smile when we want to cry, we appear to be okay when others’ joy, Facebook posts, twitter feeds, and holiday greetings really make us want to run indoors and scream in sadness! We wear the mask because of the isolation we feel…because we made the distant move, or we have experienced the grievous loss. So, here are a few tips to help you get through the holidays.
A few pointers as you prepare for the Fa La La La La of the season.
1. Acknowledge that the holidays will be different and they will be tough.
2. Decide which traditions you want to keep, and what you want to change.
3. Create a new tradition.
4. Remember that not everyone will be grieving the same way you are grieving.
5. Be honest. Tell people what you DO want to “do” for the holidays and what you DON’T.
God, thank you for this time of Thanksgiving and Christmas. Thank you for being the reason that we give thanks and celebrate the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ. Lord, you are the reason for the season! But, God we are reminded at this time about the way our lives used to be. The loved ones that have passed away and the relationships and family structures that used to define and identify us. Help us to remember and KNOW, that in all things, you work them together for our good (Romans 8:28). God, we ask that you comfort us and minister to the pain, anger, confusion, and sadness that we feel during this time. Lord, help us to trade beauty for ashes in this season, and give us a way to remember our “used to be” in a way that brings a smile to our face. Help us to still be a light and an example of how you comfort the broken. In Jesus Name.