Once you lose someone very important, the “big days” (holidays, birthdays, etc.) seem so much more meaningless. As I approach the one-year anniversary of my dad’s passing, here’s how I navigate those “big days”
Try to make the best of it
For Thanksgiving and Christmas, I could barely celebrate because those were the first two big holidays after my dad’s death. I still remember that lump in my throat for Thanksgiving as I slowly ate my Boston Market dinner because it was the saddest Thanksgiving I’ve ever had-it was just me and my mother. I remember Christmas-I didn’t want to celebrate and I was talking to my manager at the time about how I didn’t want to celebrate Christmas because of my dad’s passing, and he said to make the best of it. I’ve been trying to live that even though it’s so tough at first, but you learn to shoulder the weight and sadness the more time passes.
Do something in memory of your loved one
Did your loved one have something they loved to do during the holidays? Did they have a favorite dish? Try doing that activity or remaking that dish that they used to make before they passed on-perhaps you’ll find a new hobby or a new favorite dish that way!
Try not to let the sad memories rule the holiday/birthday
Even though your loved one is no longer here, try not to let their absence affect how you view the holidays. I always try to keep an upbeat nature even though it was really hard during the first year because I know that my dad wouldn’t want us to spend the holidays sad because he’s not here. I almost didn’t celebrate my birthday because of my dad’s death (he died 11 days before I turned 26), but my cousin surprised me with a surprise care package and one of my old coworkers surprised me too by showing up to my house. I still cried every day because losing my dad tore a huge hole in my heart but at least that made it better.
Do you have any ways to get through the “big days”?