The holidays are now over. For some, the Christmas decorations are coming down, vacations are done, and unfortunately, it is now time to return to your daily routine.
You have officially made it through the holiday blues. You may say okay, “I got through this holiday season now what?”
Last year was the first holiday season without my mother, I wondered if I’d ever be able to get through birthdays, mother’s day and special family dinners after struggling to get through the holiday season. I felt the anxiety starting to kick in once again. Tears began welling up in my eyes at the thought of having to celebrate any more birthdays without her. As her birthday approached, I wanted to celebrate her in a big way. She would have been turning 50, so of course I envisioned a huge celebration with her friends and family. However, I quickly realized there were some family members that weren’t quite ready to face the harsh reality that she was no longer with us physically and begin planning for an occasion like that. And that was okay.
On my mother’s birthday I remember writing her a letter expressing how much I missed her and needed her. I went to the cemetery and began to read the letter aloud, tears falling down my face. Was it the way I wanted to celebrate her? Probably not, but it was something my heart needed. I needed to say more than Happy Birthday and I needed her to know just how much I still needed and missed her. Upon leaving the cemetery, my heart felt a little lighter. It was in that moment, I knew that just like the holiday season, I was going to make it and, most importantly, I’d be okay.
My advice for surviving the holidays, birthdays, and special family occasions? Keep living. Keep going. Every day, you might feel broken, sad, and even depressed. I can’t say how long it will take for you to heal, but you will with time. Your smile will start to come back, you won’t have to force laughter forever, and you may even cry less when the memories flood your mind. You will make it.
You may be asking, “How do you know?” And the best answer I could offer is because I did!
Ashley (Healing Daughters)