Grief isolates us. Nowhere is that truer than at the holidays. The time between Thanksgiving and New Years can feel forbidding. The music, celebrations and activities that used to gladden us now leave us empty. Holidays have a way of turning up the volume on the pain that comes with grief. If they had their choice, many of those experiencing grief would prefer to skip the holidays altogether.
It's at this time of year that people in a season of loss can feel most misunderstood by those around them. With the best of intentions, friends and family try to cheer us up and make things better. Often, they don’t. Attempts to cheer someone up sometimes makes things worse.
That is why I am grateful for our “Navigating Grief in the Holidays” workshop at New Hope (Saturday, November 11, 10:00-Noon.) People who lead it understand the minefield that is the holiday season. People attending can be confident that no one is going to try to make everything “better.” The point is to get our bearings, find out what might help- and what doesn’t. There won’t be lots of platitudes or quick-fix slogans. Instead, there are people who have gone (and are going) through the same thing themselves.