It’s Okay if the Holidays Aren’t So Joyful

It’s okay if the holidays are hard for you.

I was always someone who associated the holidays with joy. The holidays always were a joyous time for me and my family. As I got older, it became less about material items or the food and more about the time spent with some of my favorite people. My therapist has told me often that the first year would be hard without my mom, but really any “firsts” moving forward would be hard. My first child, the first time my daughter walks, my first time going to a new state, the list goes on and on. My relationship with my mom was so close and I shared all of my firsts, lasts and all the moments in between with her.

This Thanksgiving was my first Thanksgiving without her. I tried to convince myself that it wouldn’t matter much, because every Thanksgiving for my family was different. But I realized my main constant was that I always had my mom with me wherever I went. I have never spent a Thanksgiving or a Christmas without her. The weight of it all hit me like a ton of bricks on Thanksgiving morning. All I wanted was to have my constant there. I really just wanted the day to come, and for the day to go. I am somewhat dreading Christmas, because that is the one holiday that was always consistent in our traditions and the day without her warm hugs and laughter will feel very much different.

I realize more and more throughout this process of grieving that it’s truly okay to feel what you feel. It’s okay if you didn’t feel so thankful on Thanksgiving, or you are not looking forward to the upcoming holidays. It’s okay if your heart hurts because someone you love is missing from these significant events. It’s okay if you saw the empty chair and felt overwhelming sadness, even if you’ve been doing okay recently.
The holidays can be a really hard time for many of us, so just remember that it’s okay if your days aren’t so joyful right now. After Thanksgiving, I hosted a small brunch with my husband and sister-in-law and I felt really close to my mom because I watched her prepare breakfast for us so many times and I took on a lot of the same tricks that she would. And I could feel her smiling down at me. Because Thanksgiving was really hard, but what matters most is that I let myself have a really hard day, and then I let myself keep moving forward. And I think that’s what is most important, is that you allow yourself to feel the sad but you remember that you don’t have to be stuck in the sad, and that you remember that you can endure, and that you are strong, and that you can get through this.

So even if the holidays aren’t joyful for you because you are grieving the loss of someone you love or struggling with your mental health, know that this is just a season and this season will pass. And just like all the other hard seasons before, you will come out of it, stronger, more resilient, and ready to continue making yourself and others proud.

I’m here with you and I see you. Tomorrow is a new day. Let’s take it one day at a time and have faith and hope that not only are better days ahead, but that we have everything we need within us to get through this challenging season.

Keep going. I’m so proud of you.


Be Beautifully Simply You