Grieving Through Christmas

pandemic-christmas-grief

The Grinch is not stealing Christmas this year Covid is. This is how I am feeling, as Christmas has basically been cancelled, we are grieving through Christmas. I normally look forward to holiday gatherings, family meals, traditions, and Christmas markets; however, this year it is looking different.

I did not know that the Provincial government could regulate holidays and gatherings within people’s private homes as they have, enforcing fines if neighbours call the police.

It feels like the spirit of family and friends gathering to share time together is gone. Loneliness is going to take a seat at an empty table this year. We have missing loved ones at the table due to restrictions, loss, or distance. All of this is adding so much loss and pain to our hearts. We are grieving this Christmas.

Pre-pandemic, this season can be very lonely for many people. Now, due to Covid, that loneliness is heightened making people who were isolated more isolated. In my experience, this can have a huge impact on mood, energy, and motivation in life.

I am hearing people share about how loneliness is causing them to feel depressed, anxious, and isolated from communities or families. Covid is worldwide, no one is exempt from the impacts this year, as we are collectively trying to navigate how this season can still exist within the protocols in place.

This got me thinking, to treat this year as an opportunity to redefine how we see and approach Christmas and the season. This whole year has really challenged me to redefine how the quality of time within my household can look like, it has brought out more conversations together, allowed time for board games and books to be dusted off. I have found, through journaling about my experiences, that I am able to be more present with myself and I have developed new hobbies to pass the time.

Going into this season I feel like I have gone back to the basics of Christmas; making homemade gifts, giving back to the community, and focusing on what I am grateful for – which is more time with the people I love.

I am challenging myself every day to come up with three things that I am grateful for this year, things that have not previously been present during this season. In my experience with loneliness, depression, and anxiety it cannot co-exist when I am sitting in a place of gratitude.

Join me in this challenge, what are you grateful for this season that was not present last year?

Today I am grateful that my grandma can Facetime me through Facebook, so that the distance between us does not feel so far and that I can make her laugh with fun filters.

Shawna


Journal Prompts:

  • What are you grateful for this season?
  • What creative ways can you reach out and give back to your community this year?
  • In what ways can we still spread joy and love to everyone including our single or marginalized friends, community, and family members?
  • How can you be present with yourself and your loved ones this year?
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