Christmas, New Year’s Eve and Unresolved Grief: A Perfect Storm
There is nothing like the onset of the Christmas season and the upcoming new year to churn up any unresolved pain from the absence of those we have lost. It may have been years ago or recently. Either way if we have not resolved our pain, completed what was left incomplete when we lost our loved ones it can create a hurricane of feelings and emotions. Making the Christmas season more of something to dread than to celebrate and enjoy.
Next year will be the twentieth anniversary of my mother’s death and the fourteenth anniversary of my father’s death. That first Christmas after my mother’s death, I went through the motions, more for my children than for myself. I wanted to appear okay and normal, I wanted to seem happyish, I wanted my children to not feel and suffer from the extreme pain I was carrying inside. It took energy I didn’t have; it took a fakeness of heart and mind.
The tree went up, the presents were bought and wrapped, the turkey was made, and the Christmas cheer was put on. My father did his best as well to put on a good face, yet his energy spoke volumes of his pain. We all did our very best to try to enjoy this first Christmas, we muddled through, survived even if barely. I can only speak to the pain inside I was feeling with any real accuracy, however I know we were all feeling it deep in our hearts.
Fast forward six years and the first Christmas’ after my father’s death, now orphaned (yes, we can feel like an orphan at any age) and longing for Christmas to just go away, I once again went through the motions.
It wasn’t until I decided to deal with the grief in my heart head on that I became able to enjoy Christmas and look forward to a New Year with genuine feelings of joy and excitement. I spent the time dealing with what was unresolved in my relationships with both my parents, identified what was incomplete and allowed myself to say good-bye to the pain of their loss. My parents were both very young when they died; my mother was sixty and my father sixty-six. Far too young with so much life yet to be lived with their children and grandchildren.
I used the Grief Recovery Method as my tool of choice and it worked so well for me, I am now an Advanced Specialist in the method, supporting others in working through their own unresolved grief.
I still miss my parents, but I no longer feel the intense hurricane of pain that can arise during the Christmas Season. It was the greatest gift I have ever given myself.
Grief is unavoidable but suffering from our losses because of unresolved pain is a choice. If you or anyone you care about is suffering give yourself and/or them the greatest gift of healing.
Reach out to see how you can give yourself or others a gift that keeps on giving.