New Year is supposed to be a happy time, full of parties and friends and balloons and streamers and kisses and ritual singing. But what if you’ve just lost a loved one? Are you still supposed to enjoy it like everyone else?
I lost my Grandma in 2010 and it was just over a month before New Year. So Christmas was hard and New Year was hard, harder than Christmas even. I was supposed to be sleeping over at her house on New Year’s Eve and it was so hard because suddenly she was gone and I couldn’t do that anymore. Plus with the New Year came the funeral. Everyone saying how sorry they are for my loss and what an amazing lady she was and how much they’ll miss her – they just want to help, I know, but it doesn’t help at all. It just made me sad and made me miss her more. It was a painful reminder that she was gone and she wasn’t coming back.
Well the answer to my original question is that you don’t have to pretend to be happy just because it’s New Year. I know it’s not nice to feel like you’re being a downer on everyone else, but generally people will understand. You’ve just lost someone you love deeply! Of course you’re not likely to be happy! You’re not going to be sad all the time, it’s okay to have periods of happiness, but it’s also okay to be sad. If you’re sad then no one should force you to be happy.
At the same time, if you are happy at New Year, then that’s totally okay. No one will judge you for having a good time. That person you’ve lost will be looking down on you, glad that you aren’t moping around at home. You aren’t going to be crying constantly and that doesn’t make their passing any easier but it means that you should take advantage of those moments when you aren’t crying. During such a difficult time, they don’t happen often so take them whenever you can and make the most of them. If that means going to the New Year party you’ve been invited to, then do it. There is nothing wrong with that, I promise you.
Sadly death or the passing of a loved one isn’t something which can be avoided. It’s going to happen and it’s not going to be the last time it happens either. I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again: whoever said that death gets easier was a liar. Losing someone never gets easier. It never hurts any less and you never stop missing them.
You just learn to cope with the pain. But each time it happens, with it, you will get stronger. I’m not saying that you’ll cry any less because you probably won’t but strength isn’t about not crying – strength is about carrying on despite the pain, despite the crippling sense of loss, despite the tears. You can carry on.
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