Holidays this year are different…

Nov 29, 2020 | COPE Contributors

Holidays this year are different…

This holiday season is like none other. We’re embracing those we love at a distance and creating new ways to be together in mind and heart while finding new ways to love the ones who are missing. 

I’m finding new words to describe this time of isolation and social distancing as a time for introspection and insight, a time to expand my perspective, and create a new inner reality and relationship with myself. 

This Thanksgiving I was so grateful to be with my immediate family (outdoors in a tent), I found myself letting go of expectations… finding peace and even feeling calm.

Everyone grieves differently and holds their loved ones inside them in different ways. 

Each person finds their own outlet for expression. 

I’ve finally learned to respect the process of others.      

A toast didn’t happen. Speaking of past holidays and stories didn’t work. But gratitude happened and we savored the moment of being together, each of us finding 6 words of gratitude.

My 6 words: “Loving my family heaven and earth,” finding for myself that bridge of connection.

I realized I don’t need a family gathering to raise a glass and share a story. I can do it on any day with whomever I choose (or even with myself) whenever my spirit yearns for that connection

I’ve learned that It’s up to me to take the lead and say the names of those who are missing. And if it doesn’t work out, I can forgive myself and forgive others, and find another way of bringing them in.  

It will never feel right and never be enough until I  find a way to do it for myself. 

I don’t need others to create a new relationship with my daughter, my husband, my mother, my father. I carry them inside me, in my heart, in my mind, in my being. 

I can find different ways of being with them. This past month in art therapy, I created a memory cabinet which became a closet of pictures of boots, belts, perfume, sunglasses, a watch, and dress that my daughter would love. I shopped for her in magazines and lined a shoebox-closet with all the things that reminded me of her. 

I can reinvent the relationship and how I continue to keep her close, carrying her with me through the holidays and always loving her.

Holidays bring a gamut of emotions. 

It’s important to honor wherever you are. 

Give yourself permission to laugh or cry.

Allow whatever it is to be.

Wishing you a safe and connected holiday.