As a medium, I’m comfortable being in the presence of pain, tears, silence, and intense emotion. It is part of the job description that as a healer, it is a high possibility to come across situations and people who, well, are in need of emotional healing. While I’m in no position of professional advice supplied by a doctor or qualified mental health care professional, I have witnessed a certain amount of healing that happens when our loved ones come through during a mediumship session and are able to communicate their presence in our lives. Aside from that, I know how the holidays and special events that continue to come along in our lives can be a challenge to those still here in the living. While many of us are wrapped up in shopping, social gatherings, glitter, and joy, there are others who are suffering the absence of a loved one and may be feeling a mixed bag of emotions.
Due to the stress that often accompanies these special days, here are five tips to help you or someone you love get through them:
#1: Plan Ahead and Set Limits
Sitting down with your family and friends, expressing your needs to them, and planning ahead can really save your sanity during times of grief. Are you realistically going to be able to get Christmas dinner on the table if you happen to break down over the thought of your departed loved one missing their favorite dish during the holiday gathering? Maybe this year would be a great time to delegate some your usual responsibilities to another. Grieving is not the time to have a “should”-do list.
#2: Acknowledge the Re-Experience of Grief on Special Occasions
It is pretty common to step briefly into grief when everyone is gathering minus those who have transitioned. Yes, even when you thought you had worked through it all, even when it has been awhile since your loved one crossed. (FYI, I’m told many times that they show up for the gathering, too, even if you’re not aware of their presence.) It is not helpful to try and repress the emotions of yourself or another during this time. Talk about your loved one, talk about this new experience you’re having. It is normal and it is okay to feel how you feel.
#3: Take Care of Yourself
You can do this by talking to a trusted friend, family member, mental health professional, clergy member, or support group. See some of my recommended resources here. Some other healthy tips are to exercise, don’t go overboard on the eggnog, allow yourself to express your feelings, cry if you need to, set healthy boundaries and expectations, steer clear of people who want to tell you when and how to grieve, and don’t underestimate the healing that hugs and hand holding can bring.
#4: Honor the Old Rituals while Creating New Ones
You may be the one who wants to honor your loved one by keeping traditions the same as they were while they were still living. Or, maybe you would like to incorporate some new rituals while recognizing that even though your loved one is physically absent, they are still with you in memory. Giving a special toast in their memory, or releasing something in honor of their name can be a great way to include them. (Don’t be surprised if they communicate their appreciation of this moment in your mediumship session.)
#5 Celebrate Life
Joy and peace can be found in the perspective that life is only worth living if you LIVE FULLY. Commit to doing more than just being a survivor, even if you can only focus on one day at a time. Writing a letter to your beloved about “How you plan to live fully in honor of life itself” can be a wonderful act of gratitude for your own journey AND the one who has transitioned. As a little inspiration for gratitude, click here to listen to one of my favorite songs.
Some last thoughts as I leave you, ask yourself “What if your loved one would have stayed here and it was you who transitioned instead?”. How do you suppose that would’ve affected them? If we were speaking in terms of a higher perspective and service, how have you taken part in sparing the pain of another by being one to stay behind in this world for now? The intention of this thought exercise is not to mitigate your pain or take it away, but instead, increase your awareness for just a moment of how much you are willing to give another in place of yourself. What an honorable example of the love you have for your spirit people!
I hope you find something helpful in this article as you navigate through the sometimes tricky seas of grief, of learning to live with your loved ones in a different way, and wishing you happy holidays.
Erica is a Los Angeles-based, evidential medium who loves to assist others in knowing that life continues after life. To book your holiday session with Erica, click here.