The Empty Chair

During this Holiday season we’ll all hear the cheery songs, see all the cool new presents and probably get invited to a party or two. But, even though the song says this is “The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year,” for many of us it will be a struggle because of “The Empty Chair.”

No matter our age, we all know someone who was important to us that is no longer here. Seeing that “Empty Chair” whether it’s actual or remembered can really be tough. The memories come flooding back and the inclination to just withdrawal is so powerful. First, realize that it’s normal to have these feelings, no matter how long your loved one has been gone.

Here are some ideas for you that might help…

1. Remember that Grief is Normal.
The important thing is to feel your grief and understand it’s part of your life but GRIEF IS NOT YOUR LIFE!

2. You don’t have to Please Everyone.
This includes feeling like you must attend all family functions or if showing up at a get together might be too painful, it’s ok not to go.

3. Allow yourself to include them in your celebrations.
This means talking about them, laughing about them. There’s no reason to feel guilty about joy. After all, that joy your feeling is made of their powerful energy. If they had a particular tradition, keep it alive in their honor. Bring pictures! Just because they have moved on is no reason not to keep inviting them!

4. Create New Traditions in their Honor.
Find a way to honor them with a new tradition, something easy and meaningful. Maybe a gift from them or a new ornament. The options are boundless.

5. Do Something Nice for Someone Else in Their Honor.
This might be something that no one else knows about or something everyone knows about. Helping someone else always is a great elixir.

Finally, remember that “The Empty Chair” isn’t there to make you sad or depressed. That chair is there so you don’t forget! That chair is there as a reminder of some amazing memories of life and how it is supposed to be lived!

I hope your Holiday is filled with love, peace, hope and many, many wonderful memories.