Spring can be a very beautiful season of new growth. For those of us who have lost our parents or have stressful relationships with them, it can be hard to get through May and June due to Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. Likewise rituals around prom and graduation from schools would be challenging to those of us who have lost children.
The philosophy of Body Aware Grieving is that planning extra care and attention around difficult dates in the calendar can be helpful. The answer of what to do as these times approach is a personal as each situation. Trying to ignore the constant ads in the media, flower stands with big balloons about each of these occasions and hearing about other people’s celebrations can be tough.
I think their are two important activities to address. One is the need to add in extra fun as a way to pamper oneself, celebrate life and, well…have more fun. Any reminder of a loss can be used beneficially as a time to think, “That’s right, I have been through a lot. Now is an opportunity to create good times and renewal.”
The definition of ‘good times’ varies. Some people want to just relax and have unscheduled time, others enjoy huge adventures and the thrill of a new experiences. Being alone can be a treat to one person and another may crave gathering with favorite friends or meeting new people.
The goal is to learn about what pleases YOU. The good thing about these holidays is that they come around every year, so it is fine to experiment and doing so will help you become wiser about your own preferences over time.
Another important part of commemorating Mother’s or Father’s day, and other dates like birthdays and memorials is to create rituals that honor the deceased people you are thinking about.
Maybe go to their favorite restaurant or park, look at their photos for a few minutes, or listen to music they used to love. Perhaps do something you expect would have pleased them and made them proud of the influence they have had in your life. Maybe pick up the phone or send an email of reconciliation to a person you have had conflict with…especially if you are both related to the person who has died.
It does not need to be an either/or choice when you plan your day. With experience, I have learned that my most successful, refreshing and uplifting commemorative days include extra personal care, some FUN and actions that help me remember and honor the loved ones who have passed away.
Now it is your turn to explore how to approach and find ways to benefit from important dates in the calendar. Please consider telling us about your most–and least–ideal experiences so we can all learn more together.