Hustle, Bustle, Christmas...Finding Strength When You're Grieving
by Ellen DuBois on 11/27/18
I wanted to ask you to to touch base with your feelings. Check in with yourself and take some deep breaths.
If you've suffered a miscarriage, stillbirth, loss of child or another loved one, this time of year can be very tough. I don't have words that are adequate to describe the struggle you may be going through. However, I've lived it and have an understanding of what you may be feeling.
When you're surrounded Christmas lights, songs, movies on TV, a list of gifts to buy and things to do, it might be difficult for you to find the motivation to do any of it. It's tough to take part in celebrating Christmas, (I say Christmas because that's what I celebrate. This applies to you and the holiday you celebrate, too), when a pretty big part of you just wants to curl up on the couch and hide.
I've been there on a few occasions. After my miscarriage, which was in April, I found myself almost dreading Christmas. I tried to focus on what the holiday was really about, not just me and my loss. I was very wrapped up in mourning- really consumed by it. I had planned a Christmas filled with gifts for my newborn baby.
What I envisioned and what was were very different things.
I did okay buying gifts for family members and friends. I was a wreck when picking out gifts for my young nieces, nephews and other children in my life. It had nothing to do with my love for them and everything to do with my pain and grief. Every baby outfit and toy reminded me of what could have been. I can't even tell you how many times I wanted to break down right in the middle of a store. Back then, you didn't shop online. You went to the store and that was it, other than mail order catalogs.
I got through the first Christmas after my miscarriage with the love of family and friends surrounding me. I tried so hard to get out of my own head and focus on the birth of Christ, my baby in Heaven and the true meaning of Christmas. I wanted to experience giving and love. My faith was challenged. I was not anywhere close to 100%.
I realized later, after some time to heal, that placing high expectations upon myself while grieving instead of simply accepting that my best was good enough, hurt me. When you're seeing through the eyes of grief, everything is skewed. Nothing looks or feels like it used to. That's part of the nature of grief. It was, and still is, for me.
I grieved my baby all those years ago and still think about him today. I will for the rest of my life. Almost four years ago I lost my mother. I have not been the same since, just as I changed after I miscarried. I had to learn to live with grief and came to realize that healing, (you never forget), takes time. It's different for all of us.
That's why I asked to you check in with yourself at the beginning of this post. I know there are feelings beneath the surface weighing you down. I know it's tough when you're putting on a smile and inside you feel like crying. I know what it's like to just want to stay home because you're so exhaused from trying to "appear okay" to everyone.
I am so sorry for your loss and for roller coaster of emotions you're probably feeling right now.
So, do yourself a favor. Check in with your heart and soul. If they tell you to slow down a bit, let some tears out, say some prayers for strength and comfort, whatever it may be, then please follow your gut. When you allow yourself to feel, you can let some of those feelings that hurt out. It may be in the form of tears, some self care (maybe a nice relaxing bath), journaling, prayer.
My faith in God and in the angels comforting me helped me more than I can say.
The comfort I allowed myself to feel in simply being around my family, without any expections placed upon myself to keep it together, helped me to cope. I had to let down some of the wall I'd built around myself so I could let their love in. So I could let God's healing love in.
I wish you comfort, quiet times, soulful times and much healing and love.
Welcome to MiscarriageHelp.com. My name is Ellen DuBois, host of this site, miscarriage survivor, and author of I Never Held You: Miscarriage, Grief, Healing and Recovery. If you or someone you love has suffered a miscarriage, please know you're not alone. Connect with people who understand.
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