photo credit above courtesy of bing
I used to feel really sad for people whom went through the holidays without a loved one or someone to spend the holidays with because let’s face it, who really wants to be alone when the holidays roll around – no one. (I don’t care what they say..) but I always said a special prayer for people who lost a loved one, whether husband, wife, child, friend, pet – it didn’t matter, I prayed for them. At the time I had no clue as to what they were actually feeling but I tried to place my feet in their shoes for just a moment to imagine the pain they must’ve been feeling, although I never had….at least until last year.
I mentioned briefly in this past Sunday’s Thought message of the difficult circumstances concerning my mom and what happened. I lost her five days after Thanksgiving and we funeralized her the first week of December, so needless to say Christmas went straight down the drain last year, it was also the first time since starting this blog that I didn’t write anything that whole month. Once January 2017 rolled in, I knew that it would be a really tough year – the only thing I kept thinking as each day and month passed by was the fact that “This time last year, mama was here.” which honestly has played in mind up until recently, when I could actually say, “This time last year, mama wasn’t here” – When January 2018 comes in, that will pretty much be a fresh start for me, the beginning of truly leaving the year behind and all the pain it held in it. It’ll also be a year in which, I can finally let mama go and begin to move forward and live my life as she would have wanted me too.
While the holidays bring their own type of vibe and it may be a little hard to celebrate the season because you’ve suffered a loss, rest assured that even though your special loved one isn’t here, doesn’t mean that you have to exclude them or yourself from still having a special holiday. Listed below are a couple of tips that I’ve learned and have done since loosing my mom and maybe they’ll help you or even a friend whom may be experiencing the “blues” this season due to a special loss.
1. Talk About It, Get It Out of Your System…
Keeping my feelings to myself in regards to my mom dying suddenly would have been a train wreck had I not had a good support group. If you don’t have one, then talk to someone in whom you trust such as a pastor, good neighbor, co-worker or counselor. Trust me, keeping your emotions locked up only breeds fire – you have to get it out, so you can begin the process of moving forward and having a peace of mind in regards to the loss.
2. Keep the Traditions Alive!
My mom was a game player, she loved coming up with unique games in which people could win prizes. Now, don’t get me wrong; my mom didn’t make a lot of money, in fact she only received a disability check once a month but you wouldn’t have known that with the gifts she gave out. Every year for Christmas we pulled names as a family to exchange gifts and mama would invite people over for a unique Christmas game (I never knew how she could come up with such thoughtful games) afterwards, she would award the winner and the losers as well with some amazing gifts. She always made people feel good, no matter where she went and she always had some little trinket to give them, to make their day a little brighter. It’s good to keep memories/traditions alive when you lose a loved one, we’re so quick to want to forget everything once their gone, but we have to realize when we keep their memory open, their spirit will always be alive.
3. Time really does HEAL…
I can and will say that it will take time for you to heal, and you do that as often and as much as you need to, don’t let anyone define to you when you need to let go or stop crying…you do what you need to do to deal with your loss. Remember all the good times because those are the memories that are going to get you thru your toughest days and with the holidays now here, this time of year makes those tough days harder. Remember, healing also occurs when you surround yourself with positive, caring people. I’m still healing every single day.
4. Get Involved In Activities…
There’s a scripture in the bible that says, “An idle mind is the devils workshop” and boy that scripture couldn’t be further from the truth, the enemy works and toils with our emotions and when we’re down, feeling blue or even sad – he pounces on those emotions, his goal is to take you deeper into a “blue” place, so deep until it’s hard for your to come up to breathe. Find something that you like doing that will help take your mind off of your current situation, focusing on other things does not mean that you’re forgetting about your loved one. It’s just you letting your brain and body know that you have to keep them sharp and moving forward. You’ll have your moments and that’s totally okay, but when that moment is happening every day? It’s time to get up and find a hobby or get involved in a charity….maybe even one your loved one preferred. Just don’t sit and let yourself go because at the end of the day, “Would your loved one really want you to do that?”
5. Signs and Wonders…
I was in the break room at work a little shy over a month ago eating lunch, I always sit at the table in which has a window by it, once you sit down at it; the only thing you can see are the clouds. Suddenly, I thought to myself – “I wonder if my mom know how much, I loved her?” and no joke, it seemed like as soon as I said that my head immediately turned to look at the sky and I promise you – there was a heart shaped cloud there. I was sooooo amazed that I hurried and tried to get my camera up on my phone but when I looked back up, it had faded away. I know that sounds crazy, but I wanted to share that to let you know that even though our loved ones may be gone from this side, their on the other side watching over us and if you look around closely, you just may see little signs of them still wondering around, letting you know that they’re okay. So, be encouraged!
I hope this post was a little help and offer some comfort as you go on through Christmas and the rest of this month. God bless you and know that I am praying for you and while you’re on your knees, please say a little prayer for me too.
You’re forever in my heart Mama!
Roshonda N. Blackmon – Creator of A Blog, A Magazine. It’s JustsumInspiration, Author, Speaker & Encourager
Let’s Live Well, Laugh Loud, Inspire More & Love Harder!