Losing a family member during the festive season is unendurable. We hear the jingle bells, we see the Christmas decor, we smell the fresh oven-baked cakes. We just want to shut from the world and wake up when it is over. 

It isn’t the most wonderful time of the year, simply because this time, it marks the departure of a loved one. It happened to me, a couple of days ago. It may have happened to you too. This is life.

Through the heartbreaking sadness and painful reality of not being around someone you cherish anymore, you can find a moment of solace. Here are 3 things that I learned through grief:

1. Celebrate life as you celebrate December.

In stories and anecdotes, in fun-filled memories and unique experiences that shaped your life in one way or another, celebrate the life of your departed loved one. Say their name and praise their glorious being.

2. Don’t be a grinch. 

Be thankful for the ones that support you and surround you with love in this tough time. For instance, my fiancé is on duty hug. It helps me find comfort while releasing those tears. It also keeps me grounded. 

3. Be gentle with yourself.

Your mind and body won’t endure the stress and ache of grief too long. We tend to over-think the purpose of life, try to figure out how we will plan the next day, feel guilty about stepping down on our day-to-day responsibilities and BAM: you realize you didn’t have 1 glass of water all day long. Be gentle with yourself. Try to rest, have longer showers (hot water works wonders on the body) and stay hydrated.

Grief is tough. However as the days will pass, you are going to get tougher. We grow through what we go through.