Where are you Christmas the song asks and you might ask the same thing. You may also ask: How do I celebrate Christmas/the holidays now? How do I/we make it through this year and the next?
These questions present themselves the first time we confront this season after a loved ones death. And it doesn't matter how they died or how you celebrate the holidays. The truth lies in our hearts and souls; the pain reveals.
Looking back on the first year for me after my husband died. It not only caused so much pain, but anger too and yet also a time to smile. I didn't get to celebrate my first Christmas as a new wife, instead I spent it as a new widow. One of the gifts we planned to give to some family members were wedding photo albums. The meaning behind them now meant more. I gave them anyways and while they brought love, other emotions showed forth. A special time for all of us.
I experienced every emotion that year and it was OK. Each year since (he passed away in December 2008), I recall sadness, anger, somewhat loneliness, and happiness. We remember funny events/stories and memories for in our hearts they live on. Your loved one(s) want you happy.
Take time to visit the cemetery, light a candle, donate to a charity in their honor, or do something they loved to participate in.
Just don’t let anyone tell you how to feel. You own your feelings and no one knows them better than you. ♥