My Dad died in May and my Mom lives here beside Jack & me. Christmas Day would have been their 59th Anniversary… so I’m sure that you understand how difficult this holiday season is for all of us.
I know however that I am not alone in these feelings. When I asked for suggestions for our upcoming podcast series the subject of dealing with loss & grieving topped the list of struggles our friends are experiencing.
This blog isn’t as much about my need for support… though I am grateful every day for the support that I receive from you! My purpose is to help those who are working through grief as I am.
There is no magic potion or switch to flip that can instantly move us beyond our grief. It is a very personal matter and we all need to go through it in our own way. What we can do however is find that little piece of hope and celebration that feels better.
If anyone tells you to “cheer up” or “get over it”…or the dreaded “Dad wouldn’t be happy if he knew that you weren’t moving on with your life” speech. Thank them for their concern but do not argue with them. You don’t need the aggravation right now…you’re grieving.
Here is a Simple Step to help shift your grief to where you can start to see the light at the end of it:
- Acknowledge how you feel if only to yourself. If you trust someone else enough to share your feelings, then do. If not, don’t expose your grief for others to judge by their standards. This is about you…no one else. For me this sounds like, “It had only been these last two years that I had a chance to know my Dad as an adult. I am sad that I didn’t have longer with him.”
- Shift your thought to a more positive focus. Using my example that sounds like this, “I am lucky to have had these last two years to get to know Dad better and for him to know me as an adult. We had a good relationship and at the end of his life I knew that he loved me and I loved him.” Doesn’t this thought feel just a little bit better than what I stated in the acknowledgment?
Little by little you can shift your perspective to a place where there is a more positive feeling. Then, in time, you will open up your heart to one of gratitude. You know that you were blessed to have them in your life. You will move from celebrating because that’s what you do at a funeral or wake to celebrating their life because of the joy they brought to yours. And that feels better.