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Executive Director Maureen Riedler shares her story of grief during the holidays

The holiday lights may not seem as bright this year. Like other people this year, I have suffered the death of someone very dear to my heart.

A few weeks ago, my mom died. I am again experiencing how the holiday season can feel so different after a death.

My dad died four years earlier. At times, I feel like I am grieving him again as my parents seemed to be a unit in my life.

For me, this holiday season is like everyone is running around busy with excitement while I am in a bubble of my own looking at Christmas decorations everywhere but not really seeing them.

The radio is off in my car as I am concerned that I need to concentrate more on my driving with this grief fog that I am experiencing.

I have not even heard a Christmas carol. I am not sure even if I want to participate in this holiday cheer around me.

I believe we all have to do Christmas in a way that seems right to us.

We have the Christmas lights up outside our house since that is my husband’s job.

Maybe I will decorate the table for Christmas dinner but I have no interest in putting up a tree this year.

I hear of others making memorial Christmas trees and decorations but I have no energy for that physically or emotionally.

But then who knows, I might suddenly change my mind and pull out the boxes of decorations from the basement.

But right now I am just living moment to moment. and trying to be kind to myself.

This holiday season, I look forward to resting and taking some time to reminisce about my mom alone and with my family.

I expect lots of tears and some laughter.

Maybe some people will even think that I am losing it and feel uncomfortable around me. Oh well.

I do know from providing bereavement support for many years, the best thing to do is what feels right for me.

I hope that you find what brings you peace over this holiday season.

Written by: Maureen Riedler, Executive Director of Hospice Dufferin.


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