Post Holiday Blues: When The Grief Comes Crashing Down

It’s a paradox really-that grieving hearts can be more anxious and more sorrowful BEFORE and AFTER a milestone day, birthday or holiday than on the day itself.

That’s not true for everyone, but it’s a frequent comment in our closed bereaved parent groups.

Fearful anticipation of how awful it MIGHT be can work me up into a frenzy.

Image result for grief anniversaries

The day of whatever it is usually passes quicker than I thought it could especially if there is a big meal involved and lots of people milling about.

Then everyone leaves and quiet darkness ushers in space and silence.

That’s the moment my heart recounts all the places Dominic should have been but wasn’t. That’s when I think of how his baritone voice was missing from the conversation, his laugh from the chorus of merry makers, his opinion from the slightly heated volley over politics or another current event.

I guess it’s kind of a holiday hangover without the booze.

But there’s no strange concoction I can drink to rid me of these symptoms.

Instead I have to give my heart permission to take out each feeling and FEEL it. I have to acknowledge that even when I spend the day laughing and enjoying family and friends, I still miss Dominic.

So I try to build a day (or two!) of recovery into my holiday planning.

And that’s OK.

Whenever possible that’s exactly what I do.

So you won’t find me rushing out to shop the day after Thanksgiving, Christmas or any of our own family’s unique grief anniversaries.

Instead I’ll wake slowly, drink coffee and watch the sunrise.

I might take a walk, read a book or write in my journal.

I will definitely find moments of solitude to acknowledge that once again I have survived what I thought I might not.

And for that, I’m grateful.

Author: Melanie

I am a shepherd, wife and mother of four amazing children, three that walk the earth with me and one who lives with Jesus. This is a record of my grief journey and a look into the life I didn't choose. If you are interested in joining a community of bereaved parents leaning on the promises of God in Christ, please like the public Facebook page, "Heartache and Hope: Life After Losing a Child" and join the conversation.

7 thoughts on “Post Holiday Blues: When The Grief Comes Crashing Down”

  1. This Christmas was our third without our Samuel. I think that shopping for everyone Except him is the worst. Like your post reads, I felt the empty sadness more after the rush settled yesterday evening. I’d had a moment of breaking down the night before thanksgiving when preparing a meal that he wouldn’t be present for again. And my husband had one on Christmas Eve. We talked yesterday evening about how we both have moments when we can almost see a glimpse or shadow of what might had been with his smile or laughter right on the fringe of the moment. It hurts, but is a bit of a relief to know we both know the others pain and we’re not alone.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I had a double whammy 😞 my sons birthday was the day after Thanksgiving so I was actually dreading that day more than the actual day ! I had a pleasant surprise though I spent the day with my youngest son going to breakfast and then some leisurely shopping and the day went by so quickly ! I told him how much it helped me and he said me too mom ♥️

    Liked by 1 person

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