What does the end of 2016 mean to you?
For me, the arrival of the New Year brings up a lot of mixed emotions. Little fact about me: I used to loooove New Years. It was (and perhaps still is) my favourite holiday. I loved the infinite potential of a brand new blank canvas of time and opportunity. I loved the goal setting. The midnight kisses. The champagne. All of it.
But it’s different now.
I still deep dive into my usual process of reviewing the past year & thinking about what I want to create in the future. In fact, this reflection phase has become even more intense for me. Losing Nora has made me acutely aware that our time here is limited. This is not a dress rehearsal.
And yet, as a bereaved mother, the way we enter the New Year needs to change to fit our new reality. Our process needs to expand to encompass the brutal mix of grief, pain, beauty.
And the dangers of hope.
There is also something about the New Year that feels painful now.
Like time is carrying me farther away from her.
But this shouldn’t mean that we exclude ourselves from participating in the rituals and traditions of this time. In the desire. In the wishing. In calling forth the courage it takes to let ourselves actually feel the weight of wanting something again.
If we don’t, then the only part of all of this that we get access to is the pain. So let’s reach for something more.
There is still magic here.
And not only do we have the full right to dip our spoons into it and take a little for ourselves again, I would argue that it is absolutely necessary that we do.
Even if it’s just a little.
We must choose to make ourselves into diamonds or risk turning to dust.
So here are a few ideas to help you do that:
- 1. Decide to return to life again. For them. Your baby would want you to live again. I know that the guilt rages against us when we even think about creating something new without our little ones. So I created this video to help you honour your little one with your joy as well as with your tears.
- 2. Create a “Good things that happened Jar.” Train your brain to trust the world again. Write down one good thing, even if it is the tiniest little thing ever, and add it to a jar every day. Could be a good cup of coffee. A moment of laughter with a friend. The card you received in the mail. Typically this is called a “gratitude jar” but when you have lost a child “gratitude” is often just too far of a reach. It was for me. So I started this practice in 2015 when I needed to see hard evidence that there was still good to be experienced in this life after loss. And you know what? It actually works. Try it.
Which one of these intentions for the New Year will you commit? Let me know. I’d love to hear from you.
You deserve good things and I hope that 2017 is overflowing with them for you. And I hope whatever the new year brings heals your heart & fuels your soul.
And if you found this useful, please share it with a friend who may need it too. You would be helping me with my intention of sharing my daughter’s light with the world. Thank you.
Calm the Storm
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