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Dealing with grief during the holidays: 5 important lessons I've learned

Year-end, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year holidays have always been the most beautiful, loving and hopeful time of the year. Unfortunately, it is not the case this year, and I am working to enjoy the ringing the good times and the good singing and the feeling of life . 19659004] Last year, my family spent the Thanksgiving holidays in my house, and we had a great time together, as we always do. Next Tuesday, my husband brought my father home. On Thursday I sat down with my girlfriend from the city for dinner. When I put the fork in my mouth to enjoy my first bite, the phone rang. It was my mother. I'll never forget the panicky voice on the other end that shouted, "Dixie! I think something is wrong with your dad. I just came home and met him in the chair, and he is cold. "

A feeling of nausea came over me, and I started acting and told my mother to dial 91

1. I immediately phoned friends and family members who were close to being with her while she had the courage not to split into millions of pieces. I somehow managed to weather the many hazy hours after the phone call, only to realize, a few hours later, that I was still putting food in my left cheek.

Exactly seven days after Thanksgiving, my father died.

The following days were turbulent, painful, numbing and sad. For the first time there was no dad at Christmas and New Year. The shocking reality implied that he would not be there for Valentine's Day, my birthday, the birthdays of the children, his birthday, Father's Day and all the other holidays, including the last common holiday, Thanksgiving.

It's been almost a year, and as September came and the day of death approached, a sense of concern began to build in my body. How should I deal with this unbearable pain again? And then the unthinkable happened. One evening I got a call, one of my best friends was in a coma, and the prognosis was grim. Less than 24 hours later, I received the text that she was dead. Unfortunately, the corpse of my dear friend was placed in the same burial house as my father, and she was praised in the same room as he.

Nathalie's death brought my grief back to full focus. First place. Like Dad, I was shocked. I felt depressed and wanted to crawl into my bed and not get out for long. Nevertheless, I got up. I had to remember that I'm alive. I live, and life involves happiness, pain and grief. The goal now was to take care of myself and introduce self-care practices that relieve pain and suffering and bring happiness back into my reach.

Grief is a process, and it always helps to have a toolbox. I turned to mine, which included the resources I had acquired over the years from phenomenal teachers, healers, trainers, and gurus.

Here are five things I have learned to cope with my grief as the holiday season approaches.

. 1 I take time for myself.

Taking time for me has strengthened my life on this funeral journey. I am very anxious to find time for my well-being, taking every day something for my mind, my body and my spirit. For example, in my moments of grief, I do not feel hungry. The connoisseur of self-care in me, however, knows that I need to provide my body with healthy, wholesome food to stay healthy.

If you lose a loved one, sadness is inevitable. It comes in waves, and I felt like I was caught in a big wave, tossed up and down. It can also come with lethargy and depression . To counter these feelings, I turn to exercise (Zumba) and restorative movements such as yoga and qigong. Although I am still working to consolidate my meditation practice, I can use it to center and concentrate as I step in to help with my morning prayer ritual.

These were all the routines I practiced before until my dad died, but I had to intensify and deepen every aspect of my exercise, my diet, and my spiritual practice. Accepting reality became so much easier. It helped me to reduce my fears and strengthen my hope for the future.

I also turned to a therapist. It is always helpful to approach someone who has an objective point of view and is familiar with the process of grief.

. 2 I feel my feelings without guilt.

For some it is comforting to be close to the family and to bask in the holiday traditions that cherish their deceased loved ones. For others, however, this may not be the case. Proximity to family and holiday traditions can trigger unwanted and painful memories. As a result, some would rather be alone. I wanted to be alone with my family last Christmas, and I want to be alone with them during Thanksgiving and Christmas. We talked about it as a family and agreed that we would understand when a person wants to move out and be alone. And guess what? One sister moved out and she's alright and we're fine. She feels her feelings. We feel no judgment Just healing.

Honor your individual feelings. It's okay if you're not ready for what others are ready for. Go at your own pace and allow yourself to process your feelings.

. 3 I speak of my beloved person whenever I feel like it.

We talked about Dad all the time about a month after his death. Over time, however, I noticed that no one except me mentioned his name, especially when my mother was present. I could feel the tension in our family gatherings. I did not want to raise him all the time because I was afraid he would cause unpleasant feelings with other family members . What I did not know was that they thought the same thing as me. I have since learned that it is okay to talk about your deceased loved one whenever you feel the need. I now freely share memories and stories. It is part of the healing process. I do not hold myself back. We do not hold back.

. 4 I am patient with the process.

Like most people, my holidays were filled with solemn rituals. Life after loss requires many adjustments, especially during holidays and holidays such as birthdays. This adjustment takes time, which in turn requires a certain amount of patience. I am different from my mother, my sisters and my brother, and each of our adjustment times is different. I have learned not to beat myself up when they seem to be doing well and moving faster than me. The important thing is that I practice healthy habits in order to be able to progress positively.

. 5 I know exactly what I want to do during the holidays.

This one is a big thing. Our family had to deal with Christmas three weeks after Christmas was buried. Needless to say, I was very worried about the family expectations for the vacation. The fact is, I was not ready to meet expectations and follow rituals and routines. Together with my immediate family members, I was unable to dive back into the festivities with food, trees, lights, people, and gifts.

So we honored our feelings and gave us permission to switch. Instead of the usual excessive cooking, tree lighting and gifts we gathered, watched movies, went for long walks, ordered our meals and remembered the good times. To this day, I have not created new rituals, but I know if and when I choose, my prerogative and everything will be fine.

This year, as it's the first Thanksgiving without dad, I've made it very clear that I'm not doing the big cooking and partying. It will be a weakened and reflective time. Is this next year to say and the next years will be the same? Of course not. It's just what I really want this year, and I made it crystal clear.

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