While we spend time this holiday season online and in stores trying to find just the right gift for our family and friends, we may find there is a certain emptiness to it.
In most cases, the grief tends to fog our view of the joy so many others are feeling. But perhaps another reason is because we know that the best gifts we can give and receive are those that can’t be bought.
Whether we want the holidays to take place or not, eventually the day and the time will come to “celebrate”. With most businesses, shops and restaurants closed, and the majority of people off work, a griever may find that without the distractions or obligations of a normal routine there is too much time, and too much quiet.
I always say spending too much time in our own head can be a bad place to be, and this can be especially true for a griever. It’s why the nights and weekends can be so hard – when things slow down, and the quiet that comes invites a chance for deeper and darker thoughts.
While the holidays are a very sad and challenging time, the stillness and quiet can also create an opportunity for a different type of reflection.
The people we have lost are all responsible for having taught us something. Maybe it was something tangible like how to change a tire, balance a checkbook or bake a family recipe. It could be something more intrinsic, like a loved one teaching us the value of not taking ourselves too seriously or how to appreciate the beauty of the world around us.
As you spend time in reflection this holiday season, I encourage you to think about the gifts you have received. As we honor our loved ones and try to move forward without them, one of the greatest gifts we can give is to keep their legacy going. To continue the wisdom of what they brought to this world and to what they taught us.
What is the greatest gift you received from your loved one? And what gift do you hope to leave to those who love you?
Sharing your stories and comments about your loved one can be a wonderful way to keep their memory alive. When we say their name and talk about them we keep them with us in the present, and provide a daily tribute to the love and life we shared.