For many of us this holiday season will be spent without a loved one at the table. If you have lost someone close to you this year, this message is for you.
For me, the reason holidays are so difficult to celebrate after a loss, are the memories. When you look at all who are sitting at the table, it is impossible not to think of the empty chair across from you. It can often turn the celebration into mourning. Of course it depends on the time that has elapsed, but can you have both mourning and celebration at the same time?
I think you can if you shift your perspective from self to others. When I lost my older sister a few years ago, I could barely look at the Facebook posts with her smiling face. It was so heartbreaking. My sister was a HUGE holiday celebrator! She would knock the cover off the ball when it came to decorations and tradition. When she passed, all of that passion seemed to pass with her.
As the years have rolled on, I noticed that by caring for others that were affected by the loss, it naturally turned the perspective from self to others. It fit like a glove, because that who she was. She always cared for others first. She was the brightest light.
Her light is actually getting brighter. The legacy she left was one of caring for all. I will carry her torch, and celebrate her in remembrance. I want to remember.
Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, Happy Hanukkah, or whatever you believe and celebrate.