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  • Writer's pictureerinwalter

Grief takes a holiday….NOT.

Around six years ago, I was leading a Grief group when one of the gentleman had asked me if he could just "park" his grief and come back to it in September.

He was quite adamant.

He didn’t want to have to deal with all his sadness all summer and he wanted to see family and friends. Enjoy being at the cottage and just forget all the suffering he was experiencing.

This is great in theory and in the movies but doesn't work so much in reality.

We don't want to feel pain, why would we want to feel the hurt of missing our loved one so dearly?

You see if we were to shelf our grief that also means that we’re going to shelf every memory, relationship and experience we had with that loved one. Do you really want that?!

There is a belief that we can just put our grief away or choose when we want to grieve.

That's also tough to do and I have not met anyone to this day who was successful at it.

Grief comes back to bite you when you ignore it.

Your grief travels with you.

It comes to the cottage, the plane trip and even to the celebrations. Sometimes it is overwhelming and other times it's quiet reminders that our lives are forever changed.

Summer holidays can bring an extra level of sorrow, sadness and pain. There are so many reminders that we are missing our loved one and how much things have changed without that person here.

Now, with all that said it doesn’t mean that we can’t get back to a place of enjoying your holidays. It is common to have those grief bursts and for us to take a moment for ourselves.

If you find yourself struggling this summer holiday know that it’s perfectly OK and it’s normal.

Find some ways to navigate through these difficult waves of grief and be gentle with yourself.

Reach out to friends and family and let them know that that you were hurting. You may want to continue with a family tradition or you may want to create a new one.

I encourage you to have multiple generations around you, everyone is grieving in their own way and this shows community as well as support on all levels.

There is no perfect way to grief.

Your grief experience is unique to you. Do what feels right and if you messed up, ( which you will ) you can course correct.

It's okay to say no to events and it's okay to have moments of sadness.

Summertime can be challenging with all of us wanting to visit, plan special events and not to be alone. Remember people deep down care, somethings we have to remind people that we are grieving and you are taking things moment by moment.

Your grief is yours to navigate. As you go through these next sun filled weeks have some alone time but also include yourself in the company of others. Our loved one's lives life on through our stories, traditions and rituals. Tell the story no one ever heard before, travel to the place that you both talked about and pass down the favourite cookie recipe this summer.

So, grief travels with you and at times those waves come when we don't necessary want to feel sad.

Take a deep breathe and tell yourself you are Okay and you will acknowledge that grief wave when you are alone or in a quiet place. Exhale.

Sending you light and love during this summer.


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