On today’s episode, Gwen and I discuss the struggles of getting through the holidays with a heart that is grieving and broken. Grieving is hard work with days that are good and other days that are terrible. Triggers come. Sometimes the triggers are out of the blue and sometimes they are expected. Family gatherings and holiday traditions are so difficult after the death of a loved one in your family.

I know that last year after Andy died, I felt completely lost. I really had no idea what to do. I kept hearing from others that there was no right or wrong way to deal with the holiday season and that I could do whatever I wanted to do. The problem was that I had no idea what I wanted to do. I actually longed for a little bit of guidance from others who had walked this road before me. I did not know if would want to do exactly what they had done, but at least I would get some options and ideas.

This is what Gwen and I try to do here. We discuss what I did last year, what I may or may not do this year, and many things that others have done in the past. Gwen talks about the importance of having a plan and making decisions, but also giving yourself the flexibility to change those plans in any given moment.

People were right when they said that there is no right or wrong way to handle the holidays. Just as people grieve differently, they handle these hard days differently. When everything seems so overwhelming, we can start to prioritize and divide things into categories: what we feel like we need to do, what we might need help doing, and what we absolutely do not want to do. Hopefully, this gives people a place to start.

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