Easter is a time that a lot of families get together for a big meal and delicious spring time desserts.. The kids run around searching for Easter eggs left by the elusive Easter bunny. In many cases Spring has sprung or at the very least has peeked over the horizon. Grass and plants start to show as the snow melts away. Easter is a time of resurrection, celebration and regrowth. For many it is a time of new beginnings.
This may be especially true for those of us who are experiencing a recent death of a loved one. Often new beginnings are exciting but when it comes to dealing with grief it can be a time of fear and being unsure of what the new normal will look like. In the past holidays were a joyous time of gathering with family and fulfilling traditions that have been passed down through the generations. As much as you may want to enjoy these traditions and be fully immersed in the newness of spring the reminder of what is missing is around every corner. Maybe your loved one who has gone on made that amazing dessert every year that you always looked forward to. The memories of staying up late with her to set the table for the Easter brunch that has become something to look forward to year after year. The holidays become bitter sweet when the one that has passed on was such a major part of what makes the holiday so special.
Here are a few simple things to remember as you enter the Easter holiday to allow yourself the both celebrate and grieve in the way you need to.
Allow yourself the chance to remember all the good times you had. A great way to have your loved one be a part of the celebration is to reminisce about all the joy they brought to your life and especially at Easter time. This can most certainly bring up more emotions. Allow yourself and others the chance to remember joyfully but also to shed a few tears.
Have a friend to talk to. Others may not always know what to say but to have a loving friend or family member that you can lean on is always a benefit. Feeling loved and connected to others at this time can help with the grieving process. To know that someone acknowledges and even understands your pain is quite freeing. Often a hug, a kind word or just someone to listen goes a long way in helping you feel better.
If you are going out to any parties or gatherings have a game plan in case you feel that you may need to leave early. Allow yourself to freedom to socialize and celebrate. Also know that it may be overwhelming to stay out for long periods of time and in that case it is appropriate to leave early if need be.
Give yourself the freedom to be sad and shed tears. Even more important is to allow yourself to be happy. Grief overtakes us at times and when we feel any joy it can create a feeling of guilt. Remember that your loved one would want nothing more than for you to be happy and enjoy those moments. Even while experiencing grief moments of joy should be embraced fully.
Even as we grieve we can embrace the season. Remember the good times and have hope that the past love and memories will carry on in our Easter traditions and throughout our lives. The memories and the love are never ending. The spirit of those that have gone on will continue to live through the impact they had in our lives and can be seen through the miracles of new life and growth that comes during Easter and throughout spring.