The beginning of a new kind of holiday
The holidays, that time of the year, families come together for happy times and sad times. We have in our lifetime celebrated, been in, transfer to wondrous places and at times sunk into a depression we will not come out of. As a child this was a pleasant time of year, with all the wonder of beautiful sounds, smells and wishes, as a teenager the holidays mark another year to adulthood. Adults began the planning, going to parties, and feel overwhelmed with all that needs to be done, and in our later years we began to feel the loss of friends and loved ones. Yes the holidays are a lifetime packed into just a few days.
Those of us, who have lost people close to us, remember happier times with celebrations. We can have had a disagreement with friends and family that are still here, but there is little or no communication. Other friends and family have occasionally mentioned the rift and tried to bridge the gap, however this has not worked for whatever reason. And there are those who have lost someone so dear that their heart is irretrievably broken.
The truth is it is hard to go out or even to work during this time of the year, as people seem so happy and cheerful without regard to our misery. This is most difficult for those who have lost someone over the last calendar year. However, this time can be just as difficult for years to come if the loss was a spouse or child. The loss of a spouse is especially hard right now because we can remember all of the Christmases past when wishes and times were fulfilled. The loss of a child is emotionally stressful year around and only gets worse at the holidays. Many adults and children alike are very unhappy due to the loss of a parent or grandparent.
Most of us know these emotions and only want to get through this time, however some people are medical depressed. This depression can be so debilitating that we can’t even get out of bed. We keep our blinds closed and do not answer the door. If you know someone with this kind of depression, please include him or her in some of your holiday celebrations. Many times family members (siblings, Mom, Dad, spouse; first line family devoid of children) get together for a meal in Mom or Dad’s favorite restaurant and reminisce. This sharing is very helpful and then a more grand holiday meal can be celebrated with friends and family. When the loss is of our soul mate, what to do, if the loss was within the first six months of the year, it might help to have a private time to honor the person who has passed. If the loss were more current it would be appropriate to have a get-to-gather with family and close friends who will be spent honoring the lost one but also to honor each person in the room and their thoughts. We tend to minimize the relationship for each person there. The holidays could be turned from sad to honoring the person.
All these situations, so far, have been surrounding people who have passed. There is also a need to remember people not present for other unpleasant reasons. We need to keep in mind that individual who is incarcerated (they are still a member of this family). Also, people who are absent due to a somber situation not of choice, perhaps in a hospital or in nursing care. No matter the reason we need to be respectful of anyone at our festivities, no all individuals are at the same emotional place. And we need to also remember that children are not always able to understand adult issues. A person very close to parents to help provide an avenue of understanding and love. The family would of course be of the understanding not to make suggestions only to reassure, the catalyst of absence for the person or persons was not the fault.
The missing loved one could also be just that missing. It is very important to keep up the celebration of the holiday. We must 1. Not forget and 2. Continue with our life. When someone is missing, keeping our knowledge intact is so important. Still loving and remembering them is how we get through these days. We must truly celebrate with happy thoughts; it maybe the opportunity to remember or the time to embrace all that this person has left in our life. Remembering is one thing and caught up in a place that we do not continue to live our life is not the place to be; our missing would not want that for us. Ask any military wife or husband whose spouse has been taken prisoner, they will tell you the importance of keeping up the life you shared. This also applies to those people who seem to simply vanish from our life.
So where do we go from here? First bring back the routine in our life and the fun. It is not for us to forget, but to cherish. It is not for us hold up in a cave, but to live. Every one of us must continue to live an active life emotionally, physically and with in our community.