COLUMBUS, Ga. – This time of year is not always the most wonderful time of the year for everyone.
If you’ve lost a loved one – it can be difficult to find joy during the holidays.
Many of us are making plans to be with our loved one for New Years but it’s not possible for those who’ve lost their loved ones.
Cemeteries will fill with visitors as many remember their loved ones.
During the holidays, Darrell Meadows with the Columbus Cemeteries says he sees “quite a bit of increase in visitors coming in from out of town.”
He sees a 20% increase in traffic flow through the new year.
“Family members of the deceased and friends come into the cemetery to pay their respects.”
You can see many graves have wreaths, flowers, and toys for the infant and childrens’ graves.
Meadows and his staff drive through daily to make sure the graves are respected allowing people to cherish their memories.
Dr. Stephen Muse with the Pastoral Institute advises “if we run away from it, we’re more likely to fall into a mood.”
He says it’s important to allow yourself to feel what you need to feel and don’t torture yourself thinking it needs to be different.
“Life’s about breaking through the fog of moods and getting back to reality where we have a choice to choose to be here for our life.”
Experts say it’s ok to feel sad.
Cry when you want to cry.
Take time to rest and relax and don’t blame yourself if you have a moment of happiness or feelings of sadness.
And perhaps try to create new rituals.
“You can test whether you are in a good place by whether you show up and how you’re going to approach the gift of the moment.”
The influx of visitors continues through the holidays.
According to Meadows they expect normal visitation to start again in February.
For more information on the Pastoral Institute, go to http://www.pastoralinstitute.org.
– Cry when you feel like crying
– Do what you want to do not what you feel you “must”.
– Lift up your broken heart to God
– Create new rituals, visit the gravesite to leave flowers or light a candle, pray, or read a letter.
– Love, love allows our hearts to break and it’s choosing to love others in spite of the loss that eventually heals them.
– Take time to rest and relax.
– Don’t blame yourself for having a moment of laughter or pleasure
– Don’t blame yourself for having feelings of sadness and depression