Thanksgiving is typically thought of as a time to spend time with family and reflect on the things that you are thankful for. Images are everywhere of what the holidays should look like – families all together and full of holiday cheer. Yet, the reality can be so different. For some, holidays are a reminder of those who are now missing in their lives and the traditions that have now changed. Holidays may now become a dreaded and dark time.
When you lose someone, an empty feeling can linger where the feeling was once so full. Now, you are faced with finding a new “normal” and new traditions; all the while, there are reminders everywhere you turn of your loved one and the memories you once shared. The holidays are especially hard, and while grieving a loss, it can be even harder to find anything to be thankful for.
It is okay to grieve while also being thankful. Try and focus on the positives of being able to share a life and memories with that special person instead of focusing on the loss. Try to make it a daily goal to wake up and think of a positive memory of that person. Maybe you are thankful for simply having them in your life: or, maybe, it’s the lessons that you learned from them or the laughs you once shared with them. Maybe that special dish you are making this holiday season is because of that special person and that is something to cherish and be thankful for.
Being thankful doesn’t mean you have moved on—it simply provides nourishment for your body and soul and lets a little light come in.