A New Year = A New Grief?

Author: Shanette Booker

It’s yet another year beginning without our loved ones...and yet another year ending without them.

Does that mean when they say “Out with the old and in with the new” that it applies to our grieving as well? Do we really acquire new grief with the New Year? I am thinking that the answer to that would be undecided, only because in my mind I am saying yes, but in my heart I am saying no (and I can hear my late husband Dre agreeing with me on that part). 

Let me explain. We all know that when the New Year rolls around that it is yet again (again being the key word here) another year without our loved one. We are facing the same holidays as last year without our loved ones, and being reminded of their passing on their angelversaries. So that means there should be no new grief with each New Year right? Kinda, and yet wrong, all at the same time. 

Yes we have been through holidays already, so we think it should be easy no worries. But that’s not true. It’s another year that we are reminded we are without our loved ones and that makes the grief new all over again. We have to face the reality yet again; that they aren’t walking through the door for birthdays, holidays, or any special days. We don’t get to see the smiles we loved, hear the voices that brighten our days, or feel those much needed hugs…and that my friends is a new grief that hurts a little bit more with each year. This is how our minds convince us that each year will bring us new grief.

How is it that the grief isn’t new? How can that be? Is it really possible? Yes, yes it is. Our hearts are a direct connection to our deepest pains, loves, and all other emotions and feelings (my personal opinion…I’m not a specialist in this field), and when we are hurt, our heart tries to shield us from that pain. When we are in love and happy, our hearts try to keep us feeling that exact same way, sometimes it works, and other times it doesn’t. For me, my heart (and Dre) is saying no to pain, because this is a new year for me to celebrate all the holidays and special occasions on Dre’s behalf. I already have faced the fact that he’s not going to walk through the door and greet me with a kiss, I know that no matter how much I hurt and cry for him, that unfortunately he can’t be here to give me that hug and that pep talk I long for. What I do know however is that when I wake up in the morning he is already there with me, that with each new day I can find a way to say good morning to him, on special occasions I can do something new each time and make it a happy moment full of love, hope, and joy. With this, I can make Dre proud of the inner strength that he shared with me, and show him that I am still the loving wife he married, who vowed to love him forever. The heart knows what it wants and it doesn’t want to hurt. My heart wants me to be happy and feel loved and be loved.

In the end it’s a New Year and yes, a new grief, but not necessarily does that mean it has to be as painful as it was last year. This year is a New Year and your new grief can be just as different as the events that transpire within the New Year…it’s up to you to decide if you listen to your mind or your heart when it comes to the pain of the new grief. I am choosing the heart. How will you decide?