I want to share some insight from Meg Woodson’s The Toughest Days of Grief (Harper Collins Christian Publishing 1994). Meg Woodson’s 2 children died of cystic fibrosis. She has spoken twice for us at BASIS events. Re: Christmas, assorted quotes:
A “…reason the holidays are holocaust-days for grievers is that they raise impossible expectations; Everyone will receive the gift coveted in their heart of hearts; decorations will be Better Homes and Gardens perfect; the stuffing will be moist. Adults will be gracious—all day long; children will be model children. We will all be as happy as we were as children. We will all be happier than we were as children.
“…impossible expectations. On no other day do we count so much on things or events to make us happy. “
“Most of us grievers would just as soon be sick through the whole shebang!”
From Chapter 1: The Special Pain of Special Occasions
The special days are days of traditions, traditions of love.
“The special pain these people—and you—feel on special days is an intensification of the pain you feel every day.
“Of course you feel the absence of your loved one—your love—more on the days when he or she was always present, more present than on other days. Of course you feel the emptiest on the days when you once felt the most filled with love.
“The special days of tradition, traditions of love, and now these best of traditions have been broken—in the worst of ways.
“You’re exhausted. Your attention span has shrunk. You wonder if you’ve lost your memory altogether. You haven’t…
“I don’t want to take away the pain of your special occasions, not yet. I couldn’t if I wanted to. I don’t want to take all their pain away ever, but perhaps I can suggest ways to help you ease their pain.
Plan ahead. Build structure--support--into these days. It’s being caught off-guard that does you in.
- Take care of yourself on these days. Rest. Treat yourself.
- Feel the grief triggered by these days. Feel a little of the grief away.
- Let people hold you on these days.
- Let God hold your heart in His hands on these days.
- Remember—honor—hold—your love in special ways on these days.
"Perhaps I can light a candle to shine alongside the blackest days of your grief to help you see your way through them—and beyond.”
Blessings to you because of Jesus through these holy, holocaust days.