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Grief is like rolling thunder. It comes in crashing like a tidal wave throwing us off center.

I’ll never forget the times I’ve been in grief mode in my life. Trying to stay above sea level is challenging enough without the holidays being thrown in the mix. If you’re grieving a loss this holiday season be sure to take time to take care of yourself.

I’d like to share the below blog I wrote a few years ago as I was helping with a GriefShare program. It still rings true today and is a good reminder for all of those grieving the loss of a loved one this holiday season. Remember you are not alone in your feelings of loss.

As the holidays approach the longing we experience for our lost loved one can intensify leaving us feeling lonely and not in the holiday spirit.

During this difficult season of grief it is even more important to rely on those around you for support and encouragement. It can be easy to avoid attending holiday gatherings or skipping out on traditions you used to hold close. Even though this may be a normal reaction it is important to still consider doing the activities you once shared with your loved one. Avoiding these traditions can lead to isolating yourself and pushing those away whom want to be a comfort to you. When you find yourself focusing on how hard the holidays are going to be this year remember the good times you shared with your loved one. A fun holiday memory or a special moment can bring happiness to your heart. You are able to honor your loved one by engaging in some of the same holiday traditions you enjoyed together. This can serve as a time of remembrance with your past memories bringing you joy.

When you’re feeling down let those you trust know how you’re feeling and how they can help. Scheduling time with those close to you can serve as a time when you can be open and share your grief process with them. It can be something as simple as going for a drive with a friend or meeting up for a coffee with a family member. Simply remember to take care of yourself this holiday season, be kind to yourself and patient with your grief as it is a process and you’re not going to feel better over night. Do something nice for yourself to pick your spirits up. Watch one of your favorite holiday movies, take a bubble bath or get an ice cream cone. For those few minutes allow yourself to take your mind off of your grief and just enjoy the moment.

Isaiah 41:10 Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

When all else seems to fail rest in the comfort of our Lord, knowing He is there to carry you when the load seems too much to bear.

This verse reminds us that we are never alone. God is always with us. Don’t hesitate to ask for His help and comfort in getting though this time of pain. As someone who has gone through my first holiday season without a very special person, my dad, I know that it’s not an easy road, but know that the love you shared is far bigger than any pain we feel. Love truly is the only thing that remains and allowing our spirits to rest in this knowing may bring comfort during a time that feels comfortless. My wish for you this holiday season is for you to remember and share fond memories of your loved one knowing that it is only a matter of time until you will meet again.

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