Usually at this time of year I’m writing posts like “how to survive the family at Christmas”. So this is weird. This whole year has been weird hasn’t it?
Weird, strange, difficult, scary, heartbreaking, lonely, interesting. Quite a lot to pack into to a 9 month long existential crisis. It’s been a a prison, an escape, a torture, an opportunity, a learning, an eye opener, a mind opener, a mind closer…
When you can’t have a traditional funeral it’s a cruel, double loss. This is where we are now.
If you have been drawn to this post then perhaps you have just suffered a terrible loss, and won’t get to celebrate your loved one’s life and mourn your loss with the funeral that you and they might have wanted.
And if that is so, I’m sorry.
This post is about why funerals matter, what might be different without one, how that might affect you, and ways to help yourself through it.
Christmas has a way of jerking those tears right out of us doesn’t it? It’s a time where the pressure to be happy is really on – HO HO HO! Jeepers. It’s a cheer fest, that’s for sure. One that would make the calmest people want to gouge their own eyes out if they are also trying to cope with feeling of loss and loneliness.
Especially, with COVID. Our second year now. We have feelings that don’t “match” with how we are ‘supposed’ to feel at Christmas.
Maybe you have a friend or family member who is dreading it. Maybe you are dreading it.
Maybe you, like a lot of people, are facing into Christmas as a separated parent. How can you be sparkly and happy when you feel like you’re on the floor, struggling to find order in the debris of a broken relationship? Everything around us tells us that family is king, happiness rules and life is one big gift-wrapped bundle of glittery joy! It’s a cheerfest – that’s for sure! And really, MUST they keep playing Mariah Carey???
How quietly it’s slipping by, unbelievably we’re nearly half way through. And still, not much has been said. Same as every year. Is it par for the course? Because child loss is one of the many things we don’t talk about – that we “bear” in stoic silence and secret, private agony. One would think, given the outpouring of concern for women and their babies in recent years that there would have been more said this month. Or maybe it’s because so much has already been said – maybe there is a collective compassion fatigue? Are we just exhausted from it? Because loss is exhausting, there’s no doubt about that. Or maybe there are just too many other things going on this month – it certainly has been busy in the media.
Some people woke up this morning feeling dark, empty, hopeless. Maybe they didn’t sleep, again. They feel desperate, crazy even, from lack of sleep. Not being able to think straight, not even knowing that they’re not thinking straight. Some people today can see no value, no point in being alive. There is no joy, not even peace. A quiet mind would be enough. But how to get that…
I was wondering what to post this year – and I found that I’ve done quite a few bits already and would probably wind up just repeating myself!! Plus the weather’s so lovely, y’know, at this very moment, so I really do want to get to the beach… (#practicewhatipreachetc)
So – if you’re in a reading /bookmarking-then-running-away mood here are links to my most recent “Happy Mothers Day – or maybe not??” on Family FriendlyHQ and “Are you a good enough mother?”) which you may have read before if you been signed up to my blog since last year. In both, particularly the latter, you’ll find links to others – all for the day that’s in it.
“I have ignored all the shelves – the ones I’d usually stop at – and ignored the adverts online and on the TV. If only my online searches could restrict Mother’s Day content, sure don’t they know everything about us? They listen in, yet, apparently, they haven’t heard that my mum is dead”.
A heartfelt, gorgeous piece.
Or maybe you’d rather just lie down after a feed of icecream??
I regularly receive calls from distraught parents who cannot make sense of their child’s anger. Over the years, personal as well as professional experience has taught me that rage is often – if not usually – a cover for fear, sadness and grief.
An effective one at that!
So I wrote this piece for FamilyFriendlyHQ and maybe it will assist you in deciphering your child’s anger. Especially so if you’ve had a recent bereavement or loss. It might even assist in understanding your own anger – after all, we’re all adult-sized children!
Click on the pic to read the article: