Celebrating holidays, birthdays..while grieving
The subject of grief to many can be so complex. As a mother whose child died it is an excruciating, painful experience. It is something that can’t be masked or sugarcoated. Eliyah was born on July 4th, 1996. What a fine day to enter the world!! Every year America celebrates this holiday with fun, food, and fireworks. Families plan getaways, vacations, and fantastic events. For me I celebrated Eliyah’s birth. It’s been 5 years since his passing. Every year I have done something different. The first year, which for many people is the hardest or most challenging, my husband Kevin and I went to the Ojai Valley Inn for alone time and relaxation. I remember my mother calling me a few times wanting us to celebrate with the family. I didn’t want to. I needed to be away, and I was not in any mood for fireworks, kids, and people I knew. And so, off to Ojai we went. I cried a lot. We enjoyed spa time, massages, and I even played my first round of golf. Although it was a beautiful place, and smelled of lavender I actually found it not that easy to relax. My heart hurt, and massages don’t fix that.
Eliyah passed away on Jan. 19 2013. Before his birthday, there was Valentine’s Day, Easter…. and Mother’s Day. I scrapbook which means I sort of keep everything lol. Thank God because I keep all the cards my kids have given or made for me. I went back and read through his Mother’s Day cards to me. I can’t even describe what that felt like. Joy, because I have them, and heartache because there would be no more. As, the year went on and we got closer to the Christmas holiday I cringed. I didn’t even put up any decor. No tree, wreath, lights, nothing. I had no energy mental or physical to do it. And you know what? It was ok. I had nothing to prove, and I needed to grieve how I needed to grieve.
So, what have I learned in remembering and celebrating the holidays? That no one can tell you how to process your loss. You can’t stop the day (birthdays, Christmas, Mother’s Day, Anniversaries, ) from coming. God meets us where we are at, not where we pretend to be, or would like to be. You can survive the Holidays while you are grieving. This year we celebrated the 4th of July at The Disney Resort. It was incredible. We celebrated Eliyah, and enjoyed ourselves.
You will face many emotions. You are not alone, Eventually you will heal. For me, it was do not live in others expectations for what I needed. Everyone grieves different and that’s ok. There is no handbook for grieving correctly. Honor your loved one how you see fit. Soon, the good days will outweigh the painfully acute days, and you will see evidence of the healing process.