Dealing with Grief During the Holidays

So recently, I lost a very close childhood friend in an unfortunate accident and unfortunately, it was in the approaching week that had I lost another just a year ago due to an overdose. There were so many thoughts and emotions surging through me. Why were all of my friends dying? How is this happening, we are all the same age?! How can I afford to get home around the holiday to attend services to pay respect to my friends? Would they understand? Would their families? How can I be sad and grieve without it affecting every little piece of my day? The twins in my belly? Gabriel? Wait, christmas is in two weeks? Ahhhhhh! It’s all too much!

After some reflection, I realized that I wouldn’t be the only one grieving this holiday season. And while you always hear that everyone grieves differently – how can we get through this time of year where everything is so festive, merry and bright but we’re hurting?

I found peace in the practice of certain things such as meditation, reaching out to their families and sending all of the love, support and condolences I could from a distance but some things still plagued me. You see, I just wanted to grieve but I didn’t want to be the Debbie Downer I knew I would look like. With that, I decided to live by three things this holiday season:

1. Having an exit strategy: If you decide to be social and still attend social gatherings, create a plan just in case things become too overwhelming for you.

2. Stop apologizing: You’re feelings are real, feel them without reservation.

3. Find ways to let it out: I write (specifically to the friend/family that I have lost) things that I did not have the chance to say and memories, I cry, and nourish myself with fruit and a good book. Being an empath is not easy – but I’ll leave that for another day.

I am pushing into the universe that everyone has a holiday full of happiness and those you love but if you are grieving, take the time to acknowledge it and begin the healing process as best you can because once the hustle and bustle of the holiday season stops, that pain will remain.

-Ash

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