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Wednesday, December 2, 2015

If The Fates Allow: How Do I Get Through The Holidays?

Dear Jack, 
As Christmas draws near, I find myself terrified of listening to old songs or following normal traditions like putting up the tree and even buying presents. I seem ok to my family and friends because I still pretend that I'm ok. I want to do these things, but at the same time, I'm terrified of all they will remind me of. Baby Gus was always the happiest when we did these things. We now have a new furry angel in our lives but I still miss Gus so much. How do I get through the holidays without breaking down into a million pieces?
Love,
Marcy

Dear Marcy, 
I normally suggest that you Stay In Your Truth most of the time. However, if you have to pretend a bit to get through the holiday upcoming, you have to pretend.  It can actually help to "Fake It Till You Make It". Going through the motions is far better for healing than not facing the reality of life at all. 

Even Kate flew from NY to AZ on Christmas Day just so she wouldn't have to be at home with family "celebrating" the joy of the season, four months after my crossing the Bridge. She did not feel joy at the time. It was easier for her to be sitting on a plane with strangers and changing planes in airports than doing what she'd normally do with family and friends. She was fairly successful at dealing with it.

She had a silver paw print pendant that she carried with her. It hung on a chain over her heart. When things got tough, she took it out, held it and rubbed it like a comfort stone. Sometimes having something subtle and tangible helps defer the anxiety and nervous energy. It's okay to talk about it too, but not too much to those who don't understand or they start to think about committing you to an institution after the holiday is over! Lol. It can also be quite handy to excuse oneself and go to bed early. That's okay to a point. Balance is the key. Balance the holi-day and balance as you move forward to the next anniversary without your friend. Balance is the key to all healing. Time will take care of the rest.

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This year Kate is creating something new. A new holiday tradition with me in mind. Something she will do forever from this point on. Creating new traditions is a very good way to move forward and to honor us at the same time.  She always wanted a Nativity Set. She is going to buy one for herself, gifting it: "To Kate From Jack". Even now she is trying to figure out where to get a tiny "Jack" figurine to put in the barn with Baby Jesus!  (I don't know if she'll find a figurine, but just putting me in the picture above made her laugh--- and that's a good thing!  Whatever makes you laugh or smile, just DO THAT.) 

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Just try to keep it positive. Keep moving forward. Try to find some kind of joy in the season, even if you have to put a gift under the tree from "me".  

Love,
Jack

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