I had a really beautiful conversation with a coworker this morning and it brought me back to thinking about how I could honor family that I have lost. Without going into too much further detail about my own beliefs, spiritual and/or religious, I find that for me it's important to keep memories alive and honor those who have passed on. So how do we do that? As difficult as it can be, it's so important to keep living; to allow ourselves to live, to give permission to ourselves to live. It's important to smile, to enjoy each day, to notice the seasons changing and to acknowledge the beauty of our world around us. I know that my Granny Anny would want me to stay informed about the world (and especially politics, a subject she was so keen on), and I know that my Uncle George would want me to enjoy the holiday season.
The first holidays without our loved ones are always the hardest, and they will get easier, it just takes time. For me, if I allow myself to wallow and isolate and not enjoy things in life, I am not honoring their life and the memories I have of them. Again, this is my own opinion, and people do need time to grieve; it's a perfectly healthy part of the healing process. Some days I just need to cry for a little, and that's part of my personal process. On the flip side of that, it is not selfish to enjoy ourselves. We are given one life (unless you believe in reincarnation and karma and all that) and it is only ours to live - we are essentially alone from birth to death, in our own bodies, no one is operating our life but ourselves. I'll avoid getting further existential on you (swoon), but what's a life if we aren't living it? Would our loved ones want us to miss opportunities and not feel good? I'm pretty sure they'd want us all to be happy and live a healthy meaningful life...which brings me to my beloved Viktor Frankl, whom I'm sure I've mentioned before...how can we find meaning during this difficult time? How can we live our lives while acknowledging our grief and losses? How do we keep the memories alive while still enjoying our present moment? Think about it, reflect on it. Think about how you can keep them with you in your own way. Don't think too much though, and trust yourself.
Wishing you a happy and healthy holiday season, my lovely readers!