I know this is a tough one to chew on. No one talks about it. But I will.

Celebrating holidays when you have lost a loved one is tough. This is not only about death, but can even be a break-up or a symbolic loss. This will be my 8th Thanksgiving and Christmas without my mom. Even when I type that it doesn't even feel that way.

For those of you who are going through a challenging time, I want you to know that you are not alone. For me, I find it important to celebrate what I have. I like to do this by practicing gratitude (not only for the holidays but as much as I can).

It is so easy to focus on what we have lost and what we don't have. It is so easy to think, "She should be here, she would have loved this."  Instead, we can say to ourselves, "I'm grateful I had that time with her" or "I am glad I can be here with the people in this room." See the difference? It's all about putting a positive spin on it.

Grief is a complicated beast. It comes in waves and we can never predict how we will feel. Right now, I feel ok that I am writing this, but tomorrow I may be a complete mess. The point is that I accept this about myself. I encourage you to accept this as well. I encourage you to be ok with how you feel. I encourage you to treat yourself with kindness during this time. Don't feel pressured to be in a certain place in your grieving process. That is why it's called a PROCESS.

This is your own process so treat it as is. If you want to have your own quiet time before the big day then allow yourself the space to do so. If you want to keep up a holiday tradition you and a loved one had then do it with love in your heart. If you want to light a candle in their honor then do it. I want you to do what feels right for you and your process.

In my process, I will be writing a letter to my mom on Thanksgiving Day. I have not done this before on Thanksgiving (I usually get upset and become a downer that she is not here). This year I told myself I will do my absolute best to celebrate one of her favorite holidays. I also promised myself I will have an extra slice (maybe 2) of pumpkin pie in her honor (it was our favorite).

I want you to think about the things you want to do to honor your loved one. Is it extra pie? Is it playing their favorite song? Is it lighting up the Christmas tree lights? Whatever you choose to do have them in your mind when you are doing it. I believe that they are there with us when we put our heart and energy out there for them to feel.

I would love to hear your thoughts, feelings, and comments about  this topic. Leave some love in the comments and #ShareYourWisdom