Grace For The Holiday Griever (Part 1 of 3)

November 17, 2017

How do you navigate when grief rears its ugly head and threatens to steal your holiday cheer? If you’re feeling the sting of grief this holiday season, this three-part series “grace for the holiday griever” is for you.

Part 1: Grace & Space

When grief pounced its way into our lives five years ago, I had no idea how suffocating and all consuming it would be. Our world shattered when our three year old boy Jenson left this world far too early.

Nothing prepares you for the avalanche of grief that follows losing a loved one.

The first year proved to be a haze of survival with an acute rawness during the holiday season. It took everything we had to get up and keep walking through that first year. And I hoped eventually grief leaves you alone. But the pain of losing someone you love never fully goes away.

The holidays are a mix of family, fun, and frantic exciting times. Add grief and its icy entrance to the equation, and you may wonder how you went from holiday happy to holiday horror in less than 10 seconds.

Grief has a mind of its own. It shows up unannounced, banging at the door, demanding attention, and it won’t leave until it’s acknowledged. It has no respect for Thanksgiving dinner or other holiday plans.

The holidays will trigger some sort of grief. Be gentle with yourself. Extend the same grace to yourself that you would to a fellow griever traveling down this long hard road.

A piece of your holiday picture is forever altered. And it’s okay to miss your loved one and long for their laughter, warm hug, or big smile. It’s only natural to feel sadness at the loss of someone who shaped and molded your life in ways you can’t even describe.

“The Lord is close to the brokenhearted.” Psalm 34:18

Grief, sadness, and tears often come wrapped up together. And to get through these emotions, you have to let them out. Let it flow.

Let those emotions out in your own way – it may be crying in a giant bear hug from another family member OR maybe you need a good meltdown in the safety of the bathroom. However you choose, let it out. Think of tears as your body’s way of releasing and cleansing. Let it flow so you can go forward.

When tempted to skip the “let it flow” step as the surge of emotions build, just sing a reminder to the melody of the song “Let it Snow” changing up the words to “let it flow, let it flow, let it flow”. You can do this in your head (or out-loud in the aisles of Target as you shop for Thanksgiving dinner or holiday gifts – I won’t judge).

Also remember, grief takes space and time. Big sigh.

I’ve learned this lesson the hard way through the years trying to squeeze in too much activity for a perfectly planned Christmas with velvety hot chocolate or apple cider with homemade whipped cream, parties with friends and family, and holiday shopping all crammed into too little space. The lack of margin sent everything spilling over (and oh how I wish it was just a little apple cider).

For my fellow grieving friends whose schedule is already overflowing, head this warning: You will need extra margin and space this holiday season. Figure out what can be canceled or postponed. You’ll thank me later.

You can find grace for the holiday griever starting with an extra dose of grace and space for yourself.

Don’t miss Part 2 of 3 in this series “Grace for the Holiday Griever” on honoring your loved one with grace filled memories. Subscribe here.





Categories: grace Grief Growth holidays relationships
Tags: grace, graceandspace, grief, griever, growingthroughgrief, holidaygrief, letitflow,

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