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.