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Grieving Through the Holidays

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The holidays are gonna be weird this year. I don’t think there is any way around that. We won’t be traveling like usual. Events will be shorter, smaller, and mostly outside. There will be far less hugging…

…but, if I’m being honest…they’re not that much different from the decade worth of holidays that came before it – for me. The holidays are bittersweet for me. I DO enjoy getting together with friends and family, carrying on the traditions passed down, and giving gifts to those I love. And also, I can’t not think about all the things that my Madelyn is missing out on – and what we’re missing out on together.

How old would she be this year? What would be on her list to Santa? How early would we be getting up to find out? And what family traditions would we be creating with her? How would she want to decorate the house? Would she prefer sugar cookies or fudge?

…if I’m being extra honest…this is the first, of what I can assume will be many years, where the holidays will be extra emotional.

I’m not really getting my ‘get out of town ‘me time” to prepare like I normally would {#thanksCOVID}. It’s just a few days that I would spend in my happy place regrouping and refocusing before coming back to the whirlwind of festivities.

And, this is the first year that I really feel like my nephews are actual tiny humans: where they do more than sleep and poop and cry. {Yes, I know the 3-year-old is long past the only sleep/poop/cry stage.} This year, the boys are getting more than a box of diapers and a check for the college fund. I’m actually shopping for gifts and thinking about what they would like – not just throwback teethers and Dr. Seuss books.

I can’t quite bring myself to hang out in the toy aisle yet {I still get panic attacks if I’m near the Barbies} but I’m spending some good quality time with my laptop and Target.com – something I’ve never really done before {ok, I mean, looking for kiddie toys specifically. Target.com and I are BFFs in lots of other ways.}

The holidays are starting to change to accommodate the little ones in my life – and while I’m very excited to see the holidays through their young eyes; I also can’t help but think that this should have been happening 10 years ago with Maddie.

So, I’m giving myself extra grace this year. I’m allowing myself to feel my feels about it all: the good, the bad, the ugly, and the snotty feels. I’m pulling up my ‘big girl pants’ and pushing myself out of my grief comfort zone.

I’m doing as much as I possibly can to be present with my loved ones this holiday season while still being mindful of what I need to take care of me.

I truly wish the same for you.  I hope you are able to find the joy of the season while still honoring your grief and sorrow. It’s OK {and encouraged} to do both.

I would like to offer you something I do have to offer to make this season just a little easier. I’ve been asked to put together a session on ways to ‘make it’ through, and how others can support us through the holidays. I feel like there’s some really good stuff in there – that I gotta share with anyone that wants it, so I’ve set up a virtual meeting to chat.

Please join me Monday, November 30th at 7pm CST for a session I’m calling ‘Loving Your Griever Through the Holidays’. Please RSVP {because virtual space is kinda limited} for your personal link here and I look forward to grieving through the holidays with you this year.

Wrapping you in Love and Light this holiday season,
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