While the holidays are often a time of food, celebration, and reunion, they can also be a time of deep grief and loneliness. The holidays can represent the void of a loved one who has passed. A nurse knows this better than most. We witness people in some of the most difficult moments of their lives. We will all experience loss at some point in our lives and grief is individual. The following is my wish for those grieving this time of year.
I wish you peace during the season, whatever that means for you. For some the holidays are unbearable after loss and that is ok. If peace means not joining in the annual festivities, respectfully decline. If peace means surrounding yourself with those closest to the deceased, plan a memorial dinner in their honor.
I wish you forgiveness this season. Let go of the what if. Let go of any guilt you may have. Your loved one would not want you to live on with such a heavy burden. Forgive yourself. Forgive your loved one. Holding on to guilt or contempt will only further any undue suffering.
I wish you fond memories. Remember the good times, the laughs. Remember your loved one this time of year through the photographs. Light a candle in his or her memory. Create a new holiday tradition in honor of him or her. Toast your loved one at dinner.
I wish you support. Try to surround yourself with those you love this time of year. Lean on them. Try not to grieve alone. You are never alone.
The thing is, our loved ones never really leave us. They remain in our memories and our hearts. They live on in the choices we make, the battles we are confronted with, and our achievements. They are our strength in time of weakness. They make us who we are. They live on through us now and every day. Hold them close in your heart. Sending much love and light to you all during this season.
Lori is a travel nurse that has made her way to Sweden. She is also a Yoga Alliance Certified Yoga Teacher. Follow her adventures working and traveling through Europe in her blog, Neonurse, or on Instagram.