To Those Grieving At Christmas Time

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To Those Grieving At Christmas Time

To Those Grieving At Christmas Time,

I don’t know who you lost but I know that you hurt.

During every event of the Christmas season you find yourself thinking “I wish….. was here to see this”, and suddenly you feel slightly guilty for enjoying life when your love one isn’t here to enjoy it with you.

Tears come at odd times, like when you hang that ornament on the tree, and you remember “that day”, “that moment”.  You bake cookies and suddenly while rolling them out you burst into tears; remembering, wishing,  and longing.

You hear you friends talking about doing this event, or going such and such a place with a person with same title as the loved one you lost, a mom, a friend, a child, a dad,  and you feel that hole in your heart ache just a bit more.

Then there is the annual Christmas letter, what do you write? How can you possibly be all cheery when most of the time all you feel is loss? Surly no one wants to hear about your pain but yet is has been a big part of your year.

To Those Grieving At Christmas Time,

Here is what has worked for me. I pray these suggestions  work for you, but if not I pray that you will find something positive to ease the pain.

Cry when you feel like crying. Don’t hold  your tears  back, let them flow. I have cried over a Pingu DVD in Target. I have cried over Christmas Crackers again in Target (yes I go there a lot). With each release I have felt a bit lighter.

Plan special events this year. These events are not to keep you from remembering but to keep you realizing that life is a gift, and those that have passed would want you to live it to the fullest.

Take some time to be alone with your thoughts. Take enough time, to sit and be quiet and remember all the precious times you spent with your loved one. If you can’t cry in public, this is the time to cry. Let it out; all of it. The pain, the anger, and the sorrow.

Give generously this year. Whether it be with your time, or of your money. There is just something about giving that heals the human heart. If you lost a mom, give to a single mom. If you lost a Dad, find one his age who perhaps lives alone and could use a good home cooked meal delivered to his doorstep. The giving doesn’t have to be big to bring healing.

To Those Grieving At Christmas Time This letter is for you

To Those Grieving At Christmas Time,

One last thing, know you are not alone. Never believe that lie. Look around you, find someone who has also lost a loved one this year, and share a good cry together and a hug. If I could jump through the screen right now I would do that for you, because, I lost a Dad this year and many years ago now I lost a mom, and I know how hard holidays can be when you have lost a loved one.

If you are reading this and you haven’t lost a loved one but you love someone who has here are 3 things that you can do to help a grieving person this Christmas

  • Let them cry whenever they want, no questions asked, just be there with a hug.
  • If you are a spouse let them decide which Christmas events to keep this year and which ones to skip. Don’t let them skip all of them but don’t force them to keep every single one, chances are they don’t have the emotional energy.
  • Let them share their memories of their loved one when they want to, but  if they would rather be alone with their thoughts of their loved one, give them the space to do so.

(please note there is a difference between grieving and depression if you or a loved one seems to have slipped from healthy natural grieving that comes and goes in waves to depression which I am told feels like a dark cloud that never moves off the top of your head seek help)

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Comments

  1. Victoria, I’m so sorry to hear that you lost your dad this year. Thank you for taking a piece of that grief and using it to help others. This is full of good advice both for those grieving and for those around them. I will be sharing it everywhere I can so that the people that need to read it most are able to find it.

  2. I only had my dad in my life for a very short time. He passed away a year ago from cancer. We only got to share one birthday and Christmas together. But I will cherish both of them. I so miss the first call of the day from dad on my birthday. And him calling on Christmas that year to talk. It’s those little things that I had for such a short time that I miss the most.

  3. I have not been following you for long, and I see from the note above that you lost your dad this year… I am so sorry. I have lost a brother this year and a sister two years ago… so I am there with you. Thank you so much for writing this blog post, and I hope you don’t mind, but I am going to cross-post it… those who are still reading my blog need to take a look at this, it will help some of them. Thanks again!

  4. I lost my wife to Liver Cancer in October this year. She already had issues being a partial tetraplegic and needing a ventilator. Not sure how I’ll find Christmas this year. I do have family support so I’ll see how things go.

  5. Thank you for such a touching post! We lost my Father in Law this year unexpectedly (complications after surgery), he died two weeks after our baby was born & never got to meet her. With every milestone as our baby grows, DH says “I just wish Dad were here to see this / meet her”. So we’re feeling mixed emotions with the joy of a new baby while grieving his loss at the same time.

  6. What a wonderful post. As you can see you have cross a lot of others in the same boat. What a great way to let others know something about you and your understanding and their response back to you. I lost my son and 3 year old grand-daughter 2 1/2 years ago, to a 19 year old driver under the influence of drugs and hit them head on at 6:00am on the way to day care and work. I am just now starting to get back some from of life. The pain is like nothing anyone can understand till they go through this. That black cloud I thought was there till the day I died and now I am moving into a good direction with great friends and family. I am still not decorating for Christmas, but I am going to be attending some parties and enjoying the sparkle of all the lights and decorations. Have the best holiday possible.

  7. neil c. comiso says:

    I’m immensely glad that you come up with a helpful post which was tailor made to help those who mourn the passing of a loved one during Christmas / Holiday time, cope and get past the painful truth of irreparable loss through acceptance and persevering prayer.
    I lost my beloved paternal grandfather last December 10, 1999 to various illnesses. Since that time, I accepted the fact that his passing has created a psychological burden that would haunt me all the more till the day I die; however, each December tormented me even further, causing me to wish that Christmas would go more speedily and studiously avoid listening to songs which dwell on the loss of loved ones at Christmastime.
    Nonetheless, I chose to honor his memory by saying prayers to him and attend a party with my father’s relatives as way to ease somewhat the immense pain I felt this Christmas / Holiday season.

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