Monday, November 14, 2011

Holidays -- Solitary or With a Crowd???

He Puts the Solitary in Families….

Psalm 68:5-6… “A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows…God sets the solitary in families…”

This time of year grief and sadness can come upon us like a mouse caught in a trap with a sumptuous piece of cheese. SNAP! No time to really prepare, it sets off a chain of memories, a flood of holiday nostalgia.

Since I’m still fairly new at being a widow, it doesn’t seem real that my husband has been gone for a couple of years. Though I’m not in the depth of the grief, it does take a toll on me through very strong associations with holidays past. Things like holiday gatherings, food, Christmas music, certain aromatic smells, decorations, photographs, etc. Whatever the trigger, I am the target for tears.

It is a time that needs to be addressed. You cannot “sweep it under the rug” or hide from it. There are numerous ways to get through it and still remember those special days with loving fondness and less depression.

1) You can postpone watching that "special" movie that you and your spouse used to watch together. Save it for another time. This is your season to heal.

2) If most of your holiday decor brings you to tears because it "has been displayed" every year since you and your spouse were together, it may be time to visit a department store and buy some new ornaments, etc. When you are in a better place spirtually and emotionally you can bring those special things back out. Note: Do not throw them may regret that later on.

3) If a certain holiday smell like apple cinnamin or pumpkin brings up painful reminders, see if maybe you could find another aroma such as berries, holly or some other fragrance for your home. Smells are a powerful trigger for memories.

It is a blessing if you are able to spend the holidays with family. God says He is a defender of widows. He doesn’t mean for you to be alone. If you do not hear from your family give them a call and tell them how much you miss them and would love to spend time with them. Let’s face it, our grown up children are extremely busy with their own lives, careers and their own families. You can remind them that you will be alone for the holidays but definitely do not dish out a heaping plate of guilt -- that is not the result you want to achieve...just realize that they all have their own things going on and be mindful of that when approaching them.

We were not created to be solitary. God made us to be in communities.

If your family is far away, it is a bit more complicated. In that situation, it is a good idea to seek out friends who may also be spending the holidays alone. Check to see if there are local organizations such as; senior centers or churches that have scheduled events, programs, as well as meals for those that have nowhere to go. Bottom line: Try to find someone to spend Thanksgiving and Christmas with, either family or friends.

Sing and rejoice for He is good and His mercy endures forever!

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