I've been thinking about where I am and where MANY others are during this holiday season and what you might do to help. Yesterday I had 2 sets of dear friends just show up---one with a hot toddy for my cold and a nice visit and the other with good conversation and a listening ear that told me I could just be who I am at this time and understanding of my broken heart and tears. This led me down the road of what has helped and what has not---I KNOW all have good intentions---but here--from my personal point of view is what I have found-- HOLIDAYS especially are EXTREMELY difficult--
What you have known for years---the traditions---the expectations---all of it---has to change---NOW I KNOW that a new normal will come with time---but for now--I am grieving what is lost.
To those that say "I am strong" and "You will be fine"---NO right now--I am not strong---and I am doing all I can to just put one foot in front of the other. I understand that you want me to be strong and you want me to move on ---but for today---I am a mess emotionally---still crying daily---still grieving. Your expectation of me "Being Strong" makes me feel like a failure --AGAIN----I know you do not intend that and are trying to help by reminding me that I am strong---but perhaps you are reflecting your expectations of me and not accepting me for where I am and helping me to return to "strong" at the speed that I can manage.
If you think "I am better off"---perhaps I am---but for now I am mourning the wonderful past and all those years of oneness with another. I would just like to magically turn back the book to 3 1/2 years ago. My desire is to have someone by my side that has shared a lifetime of memories with me to remember them, speak of them and cherish each moment of our life as a family. The day may come when I think--yes, I am better off---but for today---my heart is aching for what was.
"Count your blessings"---yes I am blessed--FAR more than most are and I fully realize that---I acknowledge that God has showered blessings upon me-including sustaining me in the dessert---but read Psalms---David was certainly blessed--including the blessing of being the fore bearer of The King----but yet he grieved, he called out to God, he asked for righteousness to prevail---all very human responses to betrayal.
So what can you do---for a friend who is grieving during the holiday season? What will help---a kind word, a pat on the back, a surprise visit, an invitation to dinner--accepting where they are--and not trying to make it better---just being a friend.
Many MANY have done very well at doing just this for me---praying and telling me---being my friend and I am thankful for that. I guess the bottom line is just accept those around you during this time of the year for where they are and if God gives you a nudge or an open door to help--grab the opportunity. Yes-it will get better---yes I will stop crying all the time---but it will never be the same and finding the new normal is very hard. Just bear with me and I will always thank you.