The holidays can be such a joyful experience, but add COVID and grief, then the emotions of the holidays have changed for you.  The question you might be asking yourself “How do I get through this?”  It might feel as if everything was stacked against you.  Now, with COVID cases on the rise, an individual can feel like they are trapped more than ever.   You don’t have to push yourself to be joyful, you need to help yourself cope.  You don’t have to pretend to be the person you were in the past, prepare for the holidays that will limit your stress factor.  Your loved ones will understand, even if they don’t exactly, they will always love you, but right now you need to think of yourself.  It is not being selfish; it is coping with grief.  Grief is not reasonable, and will take advantage every chance if you let it.  Grief can bring out a guilty feeling, and make an individual dig into the past, and that is just waste of energy, and the past can’t be changed. This can also promote extreme sadness and if you let it, depression.   If you are an individual that decorates for the holidays, and the old decorations make you sad, then change it up.  If those same decorations provide comfort, then place them where you can feel the peace.  Each individual can grieve differently, and that is something we all must keep in mind. The important thing is don’t ever go it alone.  Reach out!  Right now, the in-person thing can be a challenge, but there is always the phone and computer, etc.  Also, faith is an amazing thing that can get an individual through the most trying times.  We all know life can be so unfair, but it is unfair for you to spend the time you have living in extreme sadness.  This holiday season, take it slow, cry when you need to, count all your blessings, reach out to those you love as love is an incredible thing, and don’t ever give up HOPE!!!

Laurie Sweeney is the author of Have You Found Your Penny?, a book about miracles from God, inspired by the unexpected death of her teenage son in 2013. Laurie was a guest speaker for an evening event at the funeral home in February 2020. We look forward to having her back.