"It's the most wonderful time of the year!"
Except...when it isn't.
Sometimes, the holidays serve as a stark reminder of what's missing and, even worse, who is missing.
When you're anticipating an empty seat around the family table this year, it's hard to get into a jolly spirit.
It's hard to care about decorations, festive movies, and parties.
It's hard to pretend that everything is okay when it really, really isn't.
I struggle to write this blog, not only because my own loved ones are dealing with the first Christmas without a beloved son, brother, cousin, and friend, but because I don't like bringing up problems without having an answer.
I don't have an answer here.
I can't tell you that it'll be okay, because we both know that right now, it isn't.
I can't tell you that they're in a better place, because not only do I not know your beliefs, but I also know that selfishly or not, you want them here with you, and not anywhere else.
What I can tell you is that you aren't alone.
What I can tell you is that the way you're feeling is completely normal. You have the right to be sad when everyone around you is celebrating. You have the right to celebrate yourself, while still feeling grief. You have the right to go through the grieving process the way that works best for you.
And while I can't give you an answer that fixes all of this pain, as much as I may want to, I can offer some advice:
- Let yourself feel the feelings, whatever they my be. Feel the grief, the sadness, the anger, the nostalgia, and yes, even the happiness.
- Don't be afraid to take care of yourself first.
- Find the people that bring you comfort, whether by talking out your feelings, or just being there for you without a word.
- If you need to skip the festivities this year for your own peace of mind, it's okay. If you need to put your all into creating a holiday atmosphere, that's okay, too.
I can only hope that those words help as much as anything can at a time like this. And I can tell you that you'll be in my thoughts. And in quiet moments, I'll hope for comfort for you and your family and remember those that we have lost.
In loving memory of Cary Michael Morgan, who is so loved and so missed.