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Sometimes the Lead-Up is Worse

Day 95: Sometimes the Lead-Up is Worse

As the holidays are now upon us, we are entering the week when plans solidify (if they haven’t been already), and grievers are weighing their options (or non-options). Invites may have been offered and tentative yes’ may be swarming around in people’s minds.

Along with all of this, grievers are not only weighing the options about what to do on the particular holiday, but also (without consciously knowing it or not), burdening the unavoidable reflection about how this holiday season will be different, who will be absent, what is no longer available, and what can never be changed.

Holidays are a time-marker, and they have become that even more so during this pandemic. Time-markers demand us to reflect on how this moment is different than previous moments.

What I have observed in grievers for years, and noticed in my own grief process, is that the lead up to the holiday or special day, meaning the week or so before it, is often much worse than the day itself. I will qualify that statement by saying--as long as you attempt to plan something, even minimal, to honor your grief on that day.

Our systems are already attuned to holiday planning—and in grief, we are even more raw and sensitive to the days that will highlight who and what is now absent in our lives.

So if you are struggling right now, you are in good company. I will hold hope for you that the day itself is much better than these weeks and days leading up to it.

Please reference my post on Day 54: The Dreading Days, for a 5-Step Guide to the Holiday Season.

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