My role isn’t to tell you how to grieve over the holidays or “get over” your loss faster, but to remind you that grief is normal and natural, and you’re doing it just fine. That’s right, you’re doing this your way and that’s what matters.
I believe that if widows were just allowed to grieve at their own pace, in their own way, there would be a lot less confusion around the holidays. I find that the holidays bring out the best and the worst in people around us.
Widows feel obligated to spend time with people that they don’t always want to be with and close quarters usually brings extra strain on an already emotionally drained widow.
I usually advise widows to not isolate themselves during the holidays, however, if you don’t feel up to partaking, don’t. Don’t feel obligated, just say “no, thank you”. No need to make excuses or lie. It is what it is – at least until your broken heart heals and you feel differently.
However, I can’t end it there. Because, maybe, just maybe, you have some awesome and amazing people in your life and some time spent with them will bring you some comfort and support.
In the United States, they are celebrating Thanksgiving Day next week. It’s all about enjoying time with loved ones and giving thanks for the events and blessings of the year, but you may be anything but thankful for your past year while you’re grieving. Thanksgiving is the start of the holiday season that doesn’t end until after the New Year – it can be a long and painful season.
I don’t know what type of family situations you may run into…., but being prepared is key. Decide what you will and will not allow. Don’t feel the need to hide your grief. You don’t owe anyone, any explanations of your grief journey, it’s yours and yours alone. If you do decide to spend time with others, make sure you have an exit plan so that you can leave when you’re ready.
Whether you do it privately or with others, I hope you can find some blessing to be thankful for.
Happy Thanksgiving Day, Mary Francis