I didn’t have plans to write much of anything today (and I almost didn’t!) but then I hit a pocket of pain in an otherwise awesome day, and it occurred to me that for many of us, the holidays are like that.
Some of us are missing people in our lives, and the holidays seem to make that more acute. Grief is a weird thing like that, almost-ok one moment, and very much not-ok the next. It can be dizzying, the mourning process — and to make matters worse, people who aren’t going through what you’re experiencing often seem to expect near-instant healing.
Mourning a loss takes time. And even after you’re mostly-alright, those little pockets of pain can take your breath away when you stumble across one.
For me, today, it was a song coupled with an innocent snippet of conversation. Suddenly the memories were just too much, and I found myself retreating under the guise of wrapping gifts (I really did need to wrap a few more things, but it didn’t have to be right then).
It’s important that we don’t rush our grief. It’s hard and it sucks but we need to let the process unfold as it will, because that healing needs to take place on multiple levels, whether someone passed on or a friendship/relationship broke apart or whatever else. If we rush to stitch the surface together so we look ok to the world/are “holding it together,” we run the risk of leaving the deeper tissue unhealed — or sealing something inside that will only fester and cause infection over time.
Lasting healing is gritty and raw and hard-won over time. All grief is legitimate, and all mourning takes as long as it takes to settle into a place where we can gently and steadily move forward.
I’m rocking some unicorn PJs (Xmas matching thing) tonight and taking it easy with my children. Do what you need to do to be as ok as you can be. Take care of yourself in this holiday season. Don’t be afraid to sneak away for a private moment when you get overwhelmed. (Hell, some of us aren’t mourning and we need that here and there!)
There’s such a lot of noise at this time of year — don’t let it drown out that inner voice. Happy everything to you, my lovelies. Be good to yourselves.