*The following is an excerpt from a book that I will release very soon. The book title is, Allow Yourself to Dance: A Christian’s Guide to Grief.
“There are times such as holidays, anniversaries, and birthdays that will seem to be your toughest times. Grief always finds a way to creep in when it should be a joyous time. It’s not that you want it to happen. It happens because those are the times that was the most cherished times with your loved one.
Work and the busyness of life always seemed to get in the way when your loved one was alive. It was during the holidays, anniversaries, and birthdays, those cherished times, when there was no work that the world seemed to slow down for just a moment. Each year you could always count on seeing your loved one during those times. It was during those times that you could count on spending time with them even if everyone else was around.
There was something else that makes you miss them so much during those times; tradition. Couples, families, and friends seem to gravitate around tradition. During those traditions there is something that your loved one did that was unique and special to them and for you. That’s one of many reasons that God saw fit to give that person to you. It wasn’t just those times of celebration that you are grieving it’s the time you spent with your loved one and the very quirky things they did that you miss.
I would encourage you to discover what it was that made them unique and honor that. Maybe it was that they loved telling the true meaning of Christmas on Christmas morning. You may discover that this part of that tradition has stopped over the last year or two that your loved one hasn’t been with you. You may be experiencing this grief for the first time. You may also find yourself at a loss and don’t know who is going to do that special thing this year. Honor that uniqueness and special moment. Let’s just use the example of reading the true meaning of Christmas. This year as your family gathers together you could do the reading. Express to your family that you understand that your loved one used to do that. It may not be the same, but you miss that part of them. You appreciate and miss that they did that very thing and that you want to honor them by doing it. You could get someone else such as a family member or friend to do that unique and special thing if you can’t do it. The point is to cherish that moment and honor the loved one that you are grieving.
This is healthy grief and there are some great benefits in doing this. You’ll be able to revive a good memory of your loved one. It may cause emotions to well up and bring some tears. Again, this is a healthy way of dealing with grief. It’s healthy to remember your loved one. It’s normal to miss your loved one, but the emotions and tears that come at that moment could turn into a moment of joy.
You aren’t avoiding the moment. Some would tell you to just avoid that moment, but that only causes more grief. It’s better to cherish those moments that you miss rather than trying to forget that they never happened. You’ll discover that trying to forget and avoidance will cause more emotional pain. Who knows, you may start a new tradition that will continue to bring you joy.”