Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Weekend Recap: Christmas

Hello my dear readers! 

Are you back to work after celebrating the holidays? Are you still on vacation with family or taking time out to catch up with blogs and news online? In my daily life I'm on the computer for at least 10 hours a day so it has been nice for me {especially my eyes} to take a hiatus. I've been very busy catching up with family and friends this last week. I feel so incredibly blessed to have so many people in my life that love and encourage me.

I normally don't like to get too personal on here, but I feel the holiday season always brings such cheer and such despair for everyone and has especially my family this year. This Christmas has been a difficult one. Although it has been one of the best - I have spent a significant amount of quality time with my aunts, cousins, and friends - there has been one person missing. 

My beloved uncle died this year after struggling with alcoholism. It has been the most difficult loss of my life. There were moments I thought my heart would not stop breaking. Moments I thought I couldn't possibly get through the grief. Every time I would talk to my family it seemed to help and worsen my state of mind. I asked myself, why did this happen? How could this have happened? What was he thinking? Was I not enough? Was life not worth it? I cried every day for at least six months. I wished I could just call him and hear his voice. But then, little by little, day by day, I started to feel more balanced. I could take pleasure in things that used to make me happy. I started to feel inspired by my grief to take life by the reigns and do something meaningful with my time. 

Christmas day was difficult. There were jokes he would have laughed at. Food he would have enjoyed eating. And hugs we wouldn't be getting. It was also a very powerful day. We were there together, all burdened with grief, yet we still laughed at the jokes, still ate the food, and still greeted one another with a hug. We were healing because we were going through it together.

I know being with family can be very difficult during the holidays. They are people you might not spend time with were they not related. There might be severed ties or broken hearts. One thing I have learned over the course of this year is that you never know how much anguish and despair people are carrying with them. It is especially important to be gracious with each this time of year and remember that time does heal all wounds.

Before eating Christmas dinner we toasted to each other, to the meal, to healing relationships, and to the ones not with us. We cried together only for a moment before my sister toasted to Tim Tebow...

PS - If you are also struggling with grief here are a few things that have really helped me so far: reaching out to people I trust and talking to them about it, letting myself cry, being patient with myself, and journalling.

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