After their passing away, the holidays have been hard on you and sometimes, people around you might not make it easier even though they have your best interests at heart.
No matter where you go, wherever you turn, everybody around you is making merry and joining in on the festivities of the holiday season. And even though this is one of the times of the year where you feel the grief overwhelm you, you still feel like you have to pretend to "celebrate" because the people around you might not understand what you're feeling right now.
If their passing away was so recent and the cut of grief is still fresh, the season might not be so merry for you like it is for others. Your loved ones might have your best interests at heart; when you've left your house undecorated, they might do it for you and when they've just baked Christmas cookies, they may rush to your doorstep with a batch. But what they might not see is that regardless of what they do to cheer you up, the holidays are an unbearable reminder of your loss.
You didn't decorate your house because you couldn't imagine doing it without the loved one you lost; you no longer want cookies because it reminds you of how your loved one would sing away in the kitchen baking their best batch for you.
The people around you might hope to distract you or bring some warmth to your days by inviting you to holiday gatherings. What they might not see is how you feel so emotionally depleted that you don't have the energy to make small talk. It may seem selfish to some, but you can't bear being around others making merry and creating wonderful new memories together when you have just lost the one you want to share it with.
Worst of all, you might think that they'll start looking at you differently, with pity or sympathy in their eyes. There's no ounce of will left in you to make small talk or even bother with awkward conversations in social circles; you might just want people who can simply be by your side through the grief rather than treat you differently because of it.
By inviting you for extended family dinners or bringing you Christmas pudding, they might hope to turn a bad day into a good one for you. They might ring you up every now and then to check up on you and offer to make things easier for you. But in their effort to help you, they don't realize that this is not something that they can fix. They can't help you recover from this because this is not something you can recover from, it's not a wound that will heal up or a scar that will fade with a few hugs and sympathy.
There is no recovery because that would mean things will go back to the way they were. You have realized that things won't be the same and you have accepted that; now you're trying to embrace that life being different doesn't mean it can't still be lived fully.
Your parents, your siblings, your children, or your partner may try their best to carry forward the same traditions that you shared with the one you lost. They might want to help you honor the memory of the one you have lost, but those traditions won't make you feel the same way anymore.
Maybe things will get better as they say, but for now, you may not be able to stomach the same traditions that your lost loved one cared so much for. Maybe you can start new traditions with your friends and family, who are trying to make Christmas a little more bearable for you.
One thing you may have noticed since the death of your loved one is how people stop themselves from mentioning their name or avoid bringing them up in conversations. They may think that talking about them might dampen your holiday spirit. But what that has made you feel is almost like their memory is slowly being erased.
Your family and friends might not know how best to help you; so, it's okay if you want to bring them up, talking about them, and reminisce all the good times you shared with them. The more they understand what you're comfortable with and what you're not comfortable with, the less alone you will feel about your grief.
Christmas can be one of those times where you feel most gutted about their loss. And as the world celebrates, you might be constantly reminded about them, you might want to talk about them, and you might just want to break down. But your friends and family might think that your tears might be something that they need to stop.
During the holidays, surround yourself with people who will understand your sorrow, who don't make you feel like you need to be embarrassed by your tears or that you need to stop yourself from having another meltdown. The right people will stick by you no matter what emotion of grief you want to express and they will not want you to suppress it.
Disclaimer: This article is based on insights from different sources. The views expressed here are those of the writer.