Jill Sullivan, co-founder of While We’re Waiting, posts quotes from the book “Grieving at Christmastime” during the month of December. Yesterday she posted:
“Seek a balance between time alone and time with others. Moments of solitude are helpful, but isolation isn’t. Reach out to a friend when you just need to talk.”
My thoughts on this quote for those grieving:
1. PLAN for times alone. It is so busy this time of year. Plan time to be alone and allow the feelings to come, allow the tears to flow. These times of solitude will help give us strength when we are out and about. Damming up your feelings over a long period is not healthy. Let the tears flow. Feel the pain. Cry out to God. It will get better. God can heal your hurt but it takes time and effort. And it takes a bit of solitude.
2. And PLAN time with those who understand your pain. Attend a WWW meeting. Or a grief group in your area. Or have dinner with a few close friends who listen when you share. Spend time with others who have experienced loss and listen to their stories. Find time to talk with a trusted friend or your spouse about your grief and your needs this holiday season. Sometimes talking with another caring person helps us understand our own needs better. Then we can make plans around those needs. It also can help us to see the bigger picture.
3. If you have a counselor, call and make an appointment – even if it’s been a while since you’ve been to see them. A good counselor can give you tools to help you through the holidays. Our spouses and friends are not always equipped to help us through the hard times. Sometimes we need professional help. There is no shame in asking for that kind of help.
4. Perhaps now would be a good time to go back to church. Let the body of Christ love you. Enjoy the pageantry of the season. Let the traditions remind of the happy times with your loved one. Reminisce about the good memories. Let all the nativity scenes and Christmas carols remind you of the love of God. He does love you. He wants to help you through the hard times. He want to comfort you. Let Him.
If you have experienced the death of a child may I introduce you to While We’re Waiting? They are a faith-based ministry to bereaved parents. You can find them on Facebook and at www.whilewerewaiting.org