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Holidays - Love them. Dread them.

Holidays: We love them. We dread them. They become particularly difficult – or ambiguous – if you are in the midst of grieving.

The fact is, there are no rules, no rights or wrongs, when it comes to taking care of yourself during the heightened emotions of the holidays. If you want to participate, participate. If you want to limit participation, then do what is most comfortable. If you want to refrain from participation, then refrain.

Everyone will survive. And yes, you may have people entreating you because they think it would be “good” for you. But know that it’s probably coming from a well-intentioned heart. Just do what is right for you.

The first Christmas after my mother died, I had decided to just go solo for the day. It just seemed like that’s what my body and mind were telling me to do. But one of my closer friends kept haranguing me about not being alone and coming to her house with her whole family. I finally relented, thinking she was probably right, and went.

Guess what? It wasn’t fun. Or festive. Or hopeful. Or any other positive thing other than her being generous. I should not have doubted my heart. I should have doubted my inclination to give in to the clichés and believe I was wrong.

But sorrow intact, still grieving, I survived. It was going to be a difficult day, but I made it more difficult because I wasn’t true to my feelings.

To read more about surviving the holidays, setting boundaries and still honoring your loved one, here is an article from What’s Your Grief?, a helpful online resource that I take advantage of: Setting Holiday Boundaries.

I wish you all the best the season has to offer and all the blessings you deserve.

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