Thanksgiving - the season of "mandated joy".
When a loved one has died, is dying, is in ill-health, estranged or living elsewhere, Thanksgiving can bring sadness.
When feeling emotions other than gratitude and thankfulness, it is easy to feel alienated from others and this time of year.
We live in a society that is focused on being "blessed and joyful", but this is not the reality of life.
Life is both happy/sad, easy/difficult, joy/grief.
To speak about emotions, is hard.
Not everyone wants to hear about true feelings.
Sitting with the duality of feelings is uncomfortable.
Very few can witness and be with another grief/sadness.
Remember that it is ok to -
Honor your emotions
Not want to celebrate the holiday
Be open, and honest, about how you feel
Set boundaries with others about what you can do/not do
To take care of yourself this Thanksgiving -
Create new traditions
Share emotions with kids/grandkids
Embrace the duality of emotions that appear
Not over-schedule yourself into false happiness
If you attend Thanksgiving, have a game plan and exit strategy
Grief is a natural, and normal, emotion.
There is no right or wrong way to experience it.
It has no clear direction, nor an ending point.
It deserves to be honored, by you.