Surviving Holiday Pain

by Bettie-Jeanne, RobynApril’s mom

I was at another Compassionate Friends Chapter Meeting last month and someone raised the fact that it really doesn’t matter what the date is, the pain is always there. 

I miss my child every day.  Whether it is her birthday, or mine, or Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years, Mother’s Day….shouldn’t make the pain any worse…  and yet it does.   What is it about the reminder of certain days of the year; the “angelversary” date, the holidays, the special event  dates which seem to open deep wounds and create a flood of fresh pain?  They are only numbers on a calendar, and yet those numbers make a difference for so many of us.

SURVIVING THE ADDITIONAL PAIN of the holidays can really be tougher for so many of us.  Trying to find a way to make our own way among holiday decorations and music,  laughing smiling people everywhere, family festivities that always have a hole where our child ~ our sibling should be with us… hurts all that much more….

Our November 18 Meeting will take a step toward finding ways to  make it through The Holiday Season as best we can; to provide suggestions for coping when we hurt … and to not feel guilty when we  feel enjoyment.  Bereaved Mom and Grief Counselor, Lynn Follett,  will lead us through what she calls  RETREATING FORWARD.   Her 26 year old son, Jeff, died in an automobile accident in 1998.  Although Lynn is a grief counselor and Jeff’s death was nearly 12 years ago (the day after Thanksgiving) it is a tragic wound that has continued to impact her life.    Lynn is the Bereavement Services Coordinator for The Holmes-Watkins Funeral Homes in Manchester, having managed STEPPING STONES bereavement services since its inception 15 years ago.  STEPPING STONES offers grief counseling and support groups for all losses at no charge to the Manchester and surrounding communities.

Lynn Shares her thoughts for the November Meeting:


 What could that possibly mean?  Well, sometimes it is necessary to pull back  and regroup  before you can make meaningful forward progress.

Think of our November 18, 2010 meeting as a mini retreat; a short time for regrouping, rethinking and communicating our needs as we enter the holiday season, thinking about going into the new year.

 We will take a sensitive look at our desires, our needs and the needs of others during this time as well as how to best make the ‘pilgrimage’ through this holiday season.

Only in the refreshing of our strength can we find the resources to move forward.

 Lynn Follett

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