There will be tears at Christmas

There Will Be Tears at Christmas

The holiday season doesn’t feel festive for everyone. For some, it’s a rough time of year, emotionally speaking. If this is how you’re feeling about now, this post is for you. Some might say, there she goes again writing about loss, grief and tears during the holidays. Maybe even you, my dear readers, wonder why I choose to write about this topic every year. Nobody wants to talk or even think about loss, grief and tears this time of year. The focus should be on the festivities and good times, right? 

I find the opposite to be true; many people do want to talk about these things this time of year. In fact, many need to talk about these things. I get emails regularly from people wanting very much to talk about these things during the holidays. The reason is quite simple. Loss, grief and tears don’t take a break during the holidays.

There will be tears at Christmas.

Of course, it’s not just these difficult things that continue. All one has to do is turn on the news to know there is no reprieve from bad things happening this time of year. And lately, the news often feels worse than usual. I’ll just leave it at that.

Just this week, I learned another dear reader has been diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer. Perhaps you’ve recently been diagnosed with cancer. Perhaps you’re undergoing harsh and scary treatment right now. Perhaps your loved one is. Perhaps your future feels very uncertain, for whatever reason. Perhaps you’re missing the old you. Perhaps you’re missing a dear one.

There will be tears at Christmas.

The holidays can be an emotional time for those who grieve. This is true for me as well.

For example, when I decorate my tree with ornaments that each tell a story, I remember each one and yes, sometimes I grieve, too, as I remember.

There will be tears at Christmas.

On Christmas Eve, I will remember that Christmas Eve. The Christmas Eve ten years ago when we received the devastating news about my mother’s rapidly advancing metastatic disease. It’s been ten years. Ten years since that Christmas. It still feels like yesterday. I will never forgive you, Cancer, for being so cruel at Christmas.

There will be tears at Christmas.

I think about how Christmas feels different now – now that I have no living parents. Christmas is not the same and never will be again. There is still tremendous joy in my heart during the holiday season, but there is also tremendous sadness.

There will be tears at Christmas.

I think about the many families who are experiencing excruciating grief and sorrow this Christmas. Beth’s family. Mandi’s family. Catherine’s family. Scorchy’s family. And so many other families. Perhaps your family.

There will be tears at Christmas.

The holidays are about joy, celebrating and happiness, but this doesn’t mean they cannot also be about moments of sadness, grief and tears. It doesn’t have to be all one without the other. There can be joy. There can be tears.

There will be tears at Christmas.

There is nothing wrong with honoring your grief by feeling it. And no one should feel guilty about grieving during the holidays or during any time of year, for that matter.

There will be tears at Christmas.

If you’re grieving, don’t feel badly about feeling moments of joy either. It’s okay to feel sorrow mixed with joy and likewise joy mixed with sorrow.

If you are struggling with a new diagnosis, harsh treatment, fear and uncertainty, missing a beloved dear one, grieving for things as they once were, or if you’re just not feeling the joy for whatever reason, don’t beat yourself up about it.

There will be tears at Christmas.

Honor your true feelings by allowing them to flow through you.

Perhaps then you can feel at least a bit of joy as well.

Yes, there will be tears at Christmas.

And tears at Christmas are okay too.

Note:  Grief can feel very lonely, but others do understand. This post, Grief & the Holidays, Ten Tips that Might Help – might be helpful for some, so I’m tucking it into this one. And this one, Twelve Tips for Getting Through the Holidays After Loss. If you’re grieving, you’re not alone.

Get more articles from Nancy’s Point in your inbox once a week. Click Here.

Who are your tears for this Christmas?

Do you sometimes feel guilty about feeling sad during the holidays? 

 

Of course, there will be tears at Christmas. How could there not be?
Of course, there will be tears at Christmas. How could there not be?

 

2 thoughts on “There Will Be Tears at Christmas

  1. Hi Nancy,

    Your post really hit the mark. It’s a real reminder that the holidays are filled with joy — and often sadness. People are missing their dearly deceased loved ones, and some are spending their first Christmas without them. I don’t want to sound like a Scrooge, but I dislike the holiday season in general because the general message society gets is “be happy” and “be joyful,” but that’s opposite to how many people feel.

    For me, it’s Chanukah that there will be tears for. My first holiday without my aunt frantically calling me and asking what presents she should get Ari. I miss her so much, Nancy, and for the first time in a long time, my heart is truly broken. Whenever I’m in the mood to call her (we spoke often), I’m reminded that I can’t.

    I especially like this line of your post: “If you’re grieving, don’t feel badly about feeling moments of joy either.” I’m having a real problem with guilt lately. As you know, my dad is not faring well. So I feel guilty about enjoying aspects of life. Yesterday, Ari and I went to a ceramic studio to paint our chosen ceramics — it seems all the rage nowadays — and it felt so good to paint, and I was joyful. Then I thought about my dad’s suffering and felt I had no right to experience joy in the face of his slow, painful demise.

    Anyway, your post is spot-on and much-needed during this holiday season. Thank you.

    1. Beth, You don’t sound like a Scrooge at all, and you’re certainly not alone in how you feel about that societal message and pressure to be happy and joyful, no matter how you are really feeling this holiday season. I’m sorry you have to go through Chanukah and every other day, month and season without your dear aunt. It’s so hard. Luckily, the memories and the love are forever. You’re going through so much now with your parents’ situation too. I really feel for you. You don’t need to feel guilty about feeling joy though, of that, I am sure. You’ll likely feel many emotions all jumbled together this season and for quite some time as well. You’re not alone, my friend. Thank you for sharing.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *