I’ve been working with someone to help her heal from the passing of her husband of many years, and now the holidays are coming up. The holidays can be a very difficult milestone for those dealing with grief. And since I just wrote up the 2017 Guide To The Holidays, it popped in to write something about missing loved ones during this time of year. She’s the client that had the cool experience of her husband communicating with her via The Flutter that I wrote up not long ago. Even when one has had clear signs, though, including the visitation dreams that she’s had, it’s still tough. So let’s talk about it.
Of course we’re doubling down on loving the part of us that’s in pain and that wishes our loved one was still here. And the part of us that wants the pain to go away, that wants to be over it. And if you’ve started dating, we’re loving the part that feels guilty, if that part is there. Because you are not guilty; you are living, you are surviving. We’re loving all of these parts of ourselves the very second they show up to get our attention. That’s always number one for any human in any situation. And isn’t that cool?? One primary answer, one go-to response, always. It’s very simple, yet so powerful.
Another thing that’ll help is to “normalize” how you feel. I’ve said before that our inner wisdom/common sense often normalizes how we feel, if we’ll only ask. Oftentimes when a person isn’t feeling great or is triggered, their chatterbox freaks out. But if they were to ask their wisdom about how they feel in that moment, it might say that it’s entirely appropriate under the circumstances! In other words, we can expect sadness and pain, maybe even a lot of it, during the holidays. This is especially true if it’s the first holiday season since the person’s passing. So relax into it and let it come and go in waves. And yes, breathe. The breath is the wind that pushes the weather through – when the weather is ready to leave. And love the one inside that’s in pain (aka your heart) so it won’t feel so alone and abandoned. By doing it in this way, knowing these feelings are energies that are leaving your system, the waves will pass faster and faster. And you’ll even feel more light and spacious in between. And when it comes again, love yourself and relax into and let it do its thing. It’s only trying to leave, allowing you to feel better and better in the long run.
Where we’re headed, after true healing has taken place, is to a place where most of the sadness and pain has been replaced with a feeling of love and celebration of what you had, knowing that it can’t last forever. And since I’ve talked a lot here about how I absolutely don’t believe in death – only death of the temporary body – where we’re headed is from missing the love of the body to receiving the love of the living soul, right there on the spot. Where we’re headed is having a real relationship with the living soul and its present love, which is absolutely real. When a feeling of pain or sadness turns into a reminder to receive the present love and join with the soul right then and there, well, that’s pretty cool. That’s a game changer. But it can take some time to get there. The first holidays without them might not be the time. I’ll bet the second holidays will be, though. Just practice. And come see me if that’ll help; we do this “joining in love” thing in my office all the time. And it feels awesome. Note, though, that every human body has its own level of sensitivity. Some people feel more than others. It doesn’t mean that anyone is better of more advanced, though; it’s just different flavors. Every body is different, plain and simple.
Another thing that’s similar to loving ourselves is being really nice to ourselves with our inner voice. It’s okay to miss someone. It’s okay to long for them. It’s okay to feel small or powerless as a result or their loss. It’s okay to feel hopeless. It’s okay to feel like the holidays will never end. It’s okay to feel angry. All of this is okay; whatever shows up is okay. Be honest about which parts of you are showing up, and love them one at a time. When you do that, they’ll start to feel better. So YOU will start to feel better. And the waves will pass faster. This will be a totally different experience than if you’re criticizing yourself. Because did you ask for this?? No way! So you’re the LAST person you should be mean to. That’s soooo important.
A final thought is something that might surprise you. It came up in a talk I gave earlier this week in a different context, and they all laughed. But it was true. Sometimes it’s okay to lie. I want you to be your own best friend and supporter no matter what. And if the holidays are really kicking your ass due to grief, and there are some events you just don’t feel up to, and you think it’d be more trouble than it’s worth to be honest about that, then lie. It’s okay to say you feel ill. Or you have another obligation. Or you can only be there for part of the time. It’s not like you’re trying to becoming a pathological liar or something; you’re just trying to make it through the holidays. This is a very short term situation. So take your time, breathe deeply, and feel it out. And if your best option seems to be telling a pretty innocent lie to protect yourself, then by all means do it. And don’t have a shred of guilt about it. But… if you feel you could be honest, then it might help to deepen that person. It might help to deepen your relationship with them, allowing it to become more authentic. So feel that out, too.
There you go, folk, some thoughts on grief during the holidays. Love yourself, love yourself, love yourself. That’s always first. To get through any tough time, you need more love, not less. And you are the only one you can expect it from. And it’s okay if you’re learning how to do this. The ability and power to do it is built-in, so that’s good. All it takes is learning and then gentle practice. If you’re reading this, then you’ve already learned, so it’s just time for practice. And of course the universe will give you plenty of opportunities, as it so skillfully does. And as always, let me know if I can help. But… you got this.