Dealing with Grief over the Holidays


I saw an elderly man in Ikea just before Christmas. He was buying two mugs presumably for him and his wife. I just felt my eyes well up and couldn’t understand why. He was Sekuru Midzi’s age and just triggered a memory of my late father. Christmas and holiday festivities bring up all sorts of feelings and emotions for many people. Some will have lost loved ones at Christmas or face the pain of being separated from loved ones.Others are alone in a foreign country and feel the pain of separation at this time. Others have experienced the breakdown of a relationship or are facing a serious diagnosis of health challenges.

Being a Zimbo girl I have often heard people saying we are so strong, we don’t get depression, we can get through anything. We are strong resilient people but we do experience the pain like everyone else and you know what it’s ok not be superwoman all the time. After the loss of my father in 2014 I started to see life very differently. I cried more easily and hurt a lot. I saw my own mortality so clearly and have started to live life differently and change my priorities. I want to encourage someone who is feeling a bit low during this festive season.
While everyone seems festive and joyful, you’re feeling blue — downcast and sad — weighed down by grief. It can feel extremely lonely when your heart is heavy with sorrow but those around you are expecting you to smile and be happy. People expect you to act in a way that makes them feel comfortable. If you are grieving do not conform to how other people want you to act.
Here are some tips that I have picked up which may help someone who is facing a challenging time during this festive season.
No just say it….
Most people especially from where I come from i.e. Africa just expect you to get over it and carry on as normal. I have heard comments such as “She acts as if she is the first person to have lost a relative”. If you cannot attend the usual parties and don’t feel like doing it then don’t do it. If you feel like saying no just say no to anything that feels overwhelming or painful. Somethings may trigger memories and make you feel sad. You need to take care of yourself. Give yourself a break this year and only do things that provide some comfort. You have permission to say “no, no, no” instead of ok I will do it. If you want time alone just tell people that you need space. It is often our culture to surround each other with noise laughter food and drown any feelings with activity. That doesn’t necessarily work for everyone so don’t fall into the trap of people pleasing.
Allow yourself to grieve. Allow yourself to cry. If you need to sleep then sleep. If you need to go for a walk then go for a walk and allow your mind to unwind and relax. Don’t let anyone tell you how to feel and how to act. Do whatever you need to do to get through the pain.
You are not alone
There are millions of people who are going through grief as well. Connect with them online or through a local Church.
Keep Connected To Your Loved One
Share memories of your loved ones. Talk about them and talk about the crazy things they did. Write a journal and write down your thoughts. Look at photos and just keep them in mind. Sharing memories is a healthy way to keep an ongoing connection with your loved one.
Let go
Let go of all feelings of unforgiveness and regret Check my article on regret here.
Above all else don’t give up on God.
Do not let your grief or your pain separate you from the love of Christ. The bible in Romans 8 vs 38 38 And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,[b] neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. 39 No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord

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