“When someone we love dies, it seems as if time stands still. And silence… a quiet sadness… often can be felt, not just heard, a longing for one more day… one more word… one more touch… And we may not understand why God chose to have him or her leave this earth so soon, or why s/he had to leave before we were ready to say goodbye, but little by little, we will begin to remember not just that s/he died, but that s/he lived. And that his/her life gave us memories too beautiful to forget. We will see him/her again someday, in a heavenly place where there is no parting. A place where there are no words that mean goodbye.”
Here we are, at another holiday – Passover, Easter, or whichever holiday or ritual you celebrate in spring. While the dawn of spring feels so good, especially in climates with seasonal change, grief can subdue some of that hopeful feeling of spring and the newness it brings. After all, how can you think about enjoying anything new if your child is not there to hare it with you?
Those are very normal feelings. You should take especially good care of yourself during any holiday, special day or event. They can make your grief spike. Try to anticipate that — plan ahead to minimize the holiday’s impact on you with these TIPS:
- Decide whether you are up to family traditions or not. If not, ask someone else to take that over or explain why you are not “up to it” this year. If you are okay with it, incorporate your loved one somehow – they are with you in spirit. Toast them at the Seder, put their name on a colored Easter egg… whatever seems right.
- Trust your intuition about the need to get away. it does not have to be an expensive trip, maybe just a drive and dinner in a new place.
- Allow yourself some quiet time to feel your feelings and possibly the presence of your loved one. Deep breathing or meditation help with this and will relax you.
- Try journaling about how you feel — when you really let go, it’s very cathartic. Have hope – the results may surprise you.
- If possible, do not spend the holiday alone. Reach out and get together with family or friends. If no one is locally available, volunteer at a local charity. Helping others helps you heal.
- Have some small ritual marking the day, believing that your child is with you there in spirit and participating. Be open to let yourself feel them and look for signs.
Wishing you a peaceful, hopeful, loving holiday and spring.