Let’s start this right away by acknowledging just how awful the holidays are for those of us who have lost a loved one.
Part of the problem is just how ignorant our friends, family and co-workers are about grief. But who am I to criticize – I was just like them when Donnie was still alive and death had not yet touched my life.
But now I’m a widow and I understand the intense pain and sorrow of not having my Donnie to share a quiet evening with in front of our lit up Christmas tree.
I don’t know your personal grief journey, but being prepared is the key to getting through the holidays. Understand that people will say the most stupid things, like “it’s been a year, are you finally ready to date?” or they will make you feel obligated to hide your grief and tears so that they don’t feel uncomfortable during the holidays. Expect this, let’s be honest, they just don’t get it.
I don’t usually suggest isolation, but in this crazy year of covid-19, if you don’t want to put on a smiling face and spend time with others, then don’t.
Don’t feel obligated to go, but don’t leave them hanging wondering if you are coming or not. Just tell them outright how you are feeling, no excuses. Do this for yourself – stay or go – do it for you and not because of the expectations of others.