The Last Bit of Christmas Angst


Dear Dharma,

Happy New Year!

I know that the holiday season is very tough for a lot of people. I am usually not one of them and I enjoy spending time with my family and friends. However, my mother passed away unexpectedly in January a few years back. Since then, I am unable to deal with the holiday season. I get in a funk that I can’t seem to find a way out of.

The loss of my mom was tough for me as we were very close. I am a very private person and do not share my thoughts and feelings with others. I am having a really hard time dealing and can’t seem to find a way to get through this and move forward.

How do people get through this kind of loss? I have lost many people in my life but losing my mom just ripped out a part of my heart. I thought that as the years went by, it would be easier but it seems to be getting harder instead. Do you have any suggestions on how to deal with this?

Missing My Mom

Dear Missing,

Happy New Year to you too, and I am very sorry for the loss of your mother.  Losing a parent is never easy and the fact that you had such a close relationship with her makes it that much tougher.

The main thing I am picking up on is when you say you do not share your thoughts and feelings with others.  For a lot of people, this is the very way they work through their grief and pain, by talking to loved ones, so I’m wondering if keeping everything to yourself is part of what is holding you back.  I’m not saying you should run around sharing every thought and feeling you have with every person you meet, but I think finding someone you can trust and opening up to them about what you are going through would be a very good first step.  If there aren’t any candidates in your immediate circle, look into a counsellor in your area.

The fact that it has been a few years now and you are finding it harder to cope with instead of easier is because it doesn’t sound like you have really worked through and come to peace with what has happened.  When someone passes away unexpectedly, it can definitely leave you reeling and trying to understand how this could have happened.  As long as you are involved in that process, the longer it stays unresolved in your heart.

Also, I have found for myself that it is very helpful to not dramatically mark the dates of a loss.  When you dread the fact that January 22 is coming, January 22 is coming, it doesn’t allow your brain to let the effect of that date to mellow as time goes by.  Instead, you are warning yourself for weeks in advance that something is about to hurt, and in doing so, never letting yourself completely heal.

That’s not to say you should banish your mom from your mind, that’s impossible.  And it’s not to say she shouldn’t be honored as years go by.  I’m just suggesting that maybe she doesn’t need to be honored on that specific day for the reason of the loss.  Make the decision to find other ways to cherish and honor her all her greatness throughout the year that bring you peace instead of angst.

Hoping this year is a new start for you and that by the time the holiday season of 2016 rolls around (frick, which will be in no time at all, the way time flies!) that you will be in a better place.



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Categories: Grief and Loss

1 Comment

  • Hang in there, it gets better says:

    My Mom passed away when I was 6 so I never really got to know her. What makes it really tough is that it wasn’t and still isn’t okay to talk about her around most of my family who I talk to most often. What I have found to be the most healing for me is to seek out other people who knew her and can tell me about her. Perhaps that could help you too? To share your stories with someone who knew her. A friend of hers? Her brother or sister?

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