Holidays & Grieving

Next week marks the beginning of the official holiday season with American Thanksgiving being on Thursday. I am a dual citizen of the USA (born & bred there) and Canada where I have lived since 1999.

I will not be going home for American Thanksgiving this year. I am still recovering from my fall UP my stairs just a month ago and no way I could sit in line at the border in a car and sit in a car for 6 hours to arrive at my parents home.

I will also not be going home for Christmas this year….my parents are disappointed, but I shared the reality of co-parenting with the ex in that our arrangement is alternating years for holidays unless the kids state otherwise. I had them last year and we were with my family and this year they will be with their father, his girlfriend, her kids, and her family. Blended family changes everything.

Also, while I am Jewish now (since 1999) my kids have always benefited from celebrating both Chanukah and Christmas since birth. Chanukah here in Montreal and Christmas with my family in the states.

We will celebrate New Year’s with my family in the states this year and I suggested we do a special cooking night, game board night, watch a movie (by then for sure I should  be able to), and just be together. To me, that is what the holidays are about, right? We could even sit by the fire and read books, play on the smartphone or tablet, as long as we are in the same room. Togetherness means just that-being in the same room together.

My husband and I will be alone here, but plan to get together with friends during Christmas week-as we are Jewish; Christmas is not our holiday anyway (being Montreal though) many Asian and Thai restaurants are open so I am thinking lunch out somewhere…. and I had planned to work a few days that week assuming I am cleared to return to work by my physiotherapist, naturopathic doctor,  and family doctor. Both of whom I see tonight and tomorrow morning.

While the concussion symptoms are better they have not cleared up.  I saw my naturopathic doctor yesterday (actually I finally got my husband to agree and go see her- 3 hour appointment as it was 2 + hours for him) and some time for me once she learned of my concussion and frozen shoulder).

She has highly recommended an osteopath for me with a specialty in cranial?- the rest of the word escapes me-another symptom of the concussion. I am forgetful, emotional at times, irritable at times, still light sensitive, no crowds, noise sensitive, still waken many nights dizzy and/or nauseous-again all symptoms of the concussion. I guess in hindsight I hit my head a lot harder than I realized. Still count my lucky stars that my shoulder hit first-otherwise the concussion would have been so much worse.

Anyway, the meaning of this post was about the holidays and grieving….

Imagine being alone-all alone for the holidays or newly widowed or newly separated….The month between American Thanksgiving and Christmas if you are in any of the above situations-not an easy month. If you just lost your job because you were let go or laid off-not an easy time. And why do companies do this just before the holidays? If you have a family that can be a very stressful time. Forgo gifts for adults, but the kids-nothing like seeing the joy on a child’s face, no matter their age in opening a gift!

Reach out to a friend, colleague or neighbor who you know is in any of these scenarios. Buy them something small to state you are thinking about them, invite them over for coffee and cake, just say hi. Put yourselves in their shoes and what would you want and how would you want people to treat you?

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