Blue Christmas – But not the Elvis song!
Until recently, the term Blue Christmas was just a phrase from an Elvis song. Although it signified missing someone at Christmas, that person hadn’t died. However, since the death of my husband, I have learned a whole new meaning to the phrase Blue Christmas. A Blue Christmas event is a memorial, often held at churches, to honor those who are grieving. The style may vary from church to church, but the intent is the same: to support those who have lost a loved one. I think this is such a wonderful concept, for many reasons. The opportunity to have a place to go to to grieve and mourn for your loved one is crucial in the grief journey. What’s perhaps even more important, is the recognition that it’s still necessary even after the passage of time. So often grievers feel pressure to quickly be happy again. We are encouraged to put on a brave face and act as if nothing bad happened at all. So the opportunity to have your grief recognized as something that still exists year after year is important. I also like that it’s referred to as a ‘blue’ Christmas. Acknowledging that it’s OK to be sad is also essential. We cannot learn how to live with grief if we can’t admit that it’s OK to be sad.
If you’re someone who is grieving, I encourage you to find a Blue Christmas or Coping with Christmas event near you. Perhaps you are not grieving yourself, but know someone who is. I encourage you to stand beside them this Christmas season. Attend an event with them. Let them know that you do acknowledge their grief, and the enduring nature of grief. The best gift you can give at Christmas, is to acknowledge the impact of loss, regardless of how long ago it was.
Take Time – Acknowledge Your Loss – Grieve Together