Deck the halls with boughs of holly, fa la, la, la, la, la, la…rips needle across the record player and screams out loud YEAH RIGHT! Who can possibly be in a good mood? What joy can there possibly be in this holiday season? Doesn’t anyone see how much pain, hurt and misery I am in? How can I possibly celebrate or participate another stupid holiday season when someone that I loved so dearly, someone who I so looked forward to spending time with, someone who brought the laughter, joy, and fun to every family, friend or workplace holiday gathering is gone, forever, because they died? I wish that I could go to sleep and wake up in January after all of this madness of cheer and celebration is over!!! Does this sound anything like the conversation you are having with yourself in your mind right now? If so please know that YOU ARE NOT ALONE. I have been there and honestly believe that at some point in life we ALL WILL BE HERE.
The holiday season, as joyful and cheerful as it is can be, can also have a very dark side for those of us who have experienced the loss of a loved one. As we see others gather, sing, eat, celebrate and laugh all of the names of merriment and joy we are often torn between wanting to be apart of the festivities and not wanting to be the one to bring down the mood with our grief. I honestly don’t think that there is anything that I can say to solve or give a solution to either of these dilemmas or possibly type anything that will offer true comfort or make what you are experiencing at this moment go away. Navigating your way through your loss and grief is going to take time and like most other things in life experience is going to be your best teacher the initiation price for healing.
However, what I can offer are 3 affirmations or personal mantras that may help you make it through this holiday season one second at a time. An affirmation or mantra is simply something that you say to yourself internally or out loud that’s purpose is to help you keep a positive and grounded perspective and focus. I would suggest that you take the time and face the initial weirdness of speaking these affirmations or mantras out loud while looking into a mirror in moments of great emotion, anxiety or when overwhelmed.
1. It’s okay that I am not okay right now.
Many times, we put so much pressure on ourselves to be “okay”. Recognizing and honoring the fact that you are experiencing emotional trauma is going to help you put things into a clearer perspective. Removing the mask of “being okay” will free you to truly express what you are feeling and work through it. IT IS OKAY THAT YOU ARE NOT OKAY. YOU DON’T OWE IT TO ANYONE TO BE OKAY.
2. It’s okay that others are enjoying themselves.
One of the hardest things about the holiday season is sometimes seeing how happy everyone else is and feeling like you are the only one who isn’t. This can create a sense of jealousy and resentment inside of us that makes it difficult to interact with others. It may be helpful to internally grant others the freedom to have their own experience. This removes the pressure from you to compare your feelings and emotions to what you think others are experiencing and thinking,
3. I will eventually enjoy myself again.
They say time heals all wounds but in the case of loss and grief sadly this is not always true. There will always be a void when we think about the loved ones we have lost. There will always be something missing when we are in environments and situations that stir up memories of their presence. In time, we will heal and be forced to move forward creating new memories but it won’t happen immediately. Reminding ourselves and setting your intentions and attention towards creating new memories with those who are still with us is one of the greatest and most precious gifts that we can give ourselves. Being patient and understanding that we will eventually approach the holidays with joy, excitement and participation just may be the key to surviving this holiday season.
Photo Credit: Unsplash
Artist: Thought Catalog @thoughtcatalog
Joél Simone Anthony, also known as ‘The Grave Woman,’ is a licensed funeral director and embalmer. She is dedicated to eliminating misconceptions about post-life preparation while stimulating an open, honest and straight forward discussion about death. You can submit your comments, questions and requests to firstname.lastname@example.org or by using our contact page.