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Surviving the Season

Two years ago, today, my brother Tory died from COVID.

Surprise is an understatement.

Here is a short video about how I’m coping with all the holiday cheer when it feels so hollow to me:

Holidays have always been a bit challenging. Now I just watch them pass with very little enthusiasm. Be clear: I love all the positivity, and I’m not trying to rain on ANYONE’S parade. I’m learning how to honor my needs as much as make room for others to do what brings the peace and joy.

Simply put: I’ve learned to let me grieve instead of trying to feel “merry.”

Here are three strategies I use to survive the holiday season:

1. I let myself grieve. Grief comes in waves and when it wants to. I allow myself to feel and don’t invalidate my process.

2. I tell the truth about what I have emotional capacity for. I let a friend know that I’m grieving and will not have the emotional capacity to engage up until the new year. By so doing I’m honoring our friendship instead of going ghost and having people worry about me.

3. I focus on the future. I’m still alive so I get to do what God has called me to do. I can grieve and grow and create. Yes, I may take some cry breaks. That lets me know I am healing in a healthy way instead of stuffing it and pressing through.

I hope these three strategies help you cope with the inherit stress of the holiday season, especially if you have lost a loved one.

Please know you are not alone in this.

I’m right there with you.

In my mind all of our loved ones are looking down from heaven cheering us on!
And I am grateful.

I love you,

Dr. Venus


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