This annoying dang holiday season. Are you wondering if I’m giving you whiplash? Do I spin a 180 turn each and every post? First complain, then gush? I know. I know. Try living with me.
Last year I wrote about how the holidays suck for some of you if you’ve lost a loved one. Holidays are like a trigger of emotions. They make you ponder on Christmases past and when life has changed permanently, it can be hard.
But then I thought of something. Maybe those little reminders are like the loved ones past speaking to us. Bear with me.
When my friend Reshma lost her daughter to Siona from Leukemia, she woke up one morning with a pressure point on her chest over her heart in the shape of a butterfly. You know when you sleep hard and the pillow case leaves an imprint on your face? Like that. I know, weird. But butterflies were a favorite of 6 year old Siona and this silhoutte of one was perfectly formed. It lasted several hours before it just faded. Reshma cherished her little butterfly form she had over her heart for the few hours it was there. Like Siona had given her a kiss.
Now don’t get all weird on me. I’m not saying that there’s messages from beyond. I’m not going into paranormal stuff here. You can think that or not. I’m cool with it.
I’m saying that the holidays hold so much hope and joy. That I’m going to hold on to the parts that are dear to me. I’m thinking about my dear, dear old friends who are living through their first holiday without their mom, sister and daughter after she took her own life in May. Their grief is palpable. Their grief is ripped open anew with each box of ornaments.
So here’s my list of what to do to get through:
Ready? Take a deep breath and go into downward dog yoga pose. Just kidding.
But breathe deeply anyway.
Hug the ones that are with you. Yep, just do it. Even if they piss you off. Stephen Stills was right with his song, “Love the one you’re with”.
When you see a reminder of a loved one gone- smile at it. Close your eyes and hold it to your heart. Say, “I miss you and I love you and I know you’re still here with me.”
Take last year’s coat or boots that don’t fit anymore or are hardly used and bring them to a charity. Someone needs those more than you.
Write down your feelings. If you blog or not, write that stuff down. You don’t ever have to read it again, but getting it on paper is helpful.
And one more time, love the ones you’re with. Dang it. Hug them, smush them and tell them you are happy they are with you.
Well, I’m not Dr. Phil. I’m not a trained professional. I’m just trying to lend a hug, and let you know I’m here for you. We can do this together.